FORMER TRAU FC HEAD COACH Dimitris Dimitriou, who was sacked under controversial circumstances by the club over the weekend, has alleged a conspiracy against him by a senior club official.
On Sunday, the official TRAU facebook page announced Dimitrou's removal from the post of the head coach and made a vague reference to the possible reason behind the move, simply commenting, "One question to everyone: do you accept match fixing in sports."
The incident created buzz all over Indian football; especially because TRAU have not lost a single I-League match under Dimitrou; and currently they are riding a 4 match winning streak, the best in the league. They have also risen to the top three on the points table, whereas they were struggling against a relegation threat before Dimitrou was brought in. There was also rumours of a dressing room argument taking place between the head coach and some club officials, with many wondering if that had anything to do with the firing.
Not long after, Dimitrou spoke up about the matter, dismissing the implications of match fixing. According to the former Manchester City youth coach, the whole thing is a result of club official Phulen Meitei's efforts to exert influence over the team.
Speaking to Bengali daily Ei Samay, Mr Dimitrou said,
"Phulen Meitei wanted to re-negotiate my contract for a lesser salary which I did not agree to. He also wanted to pick the team for the matches. I said no and threw him out of the dressing room. All this is being done to get back at me for that."
Dimitrou's version of the events appears to corroborate the rumours of a dressing room argument that led to the sacking.
The TRAU FC management has chosen not to speak further on the matter or clarify why 'match fixing' was mentioned in the aforementioned Facebook comment. But the ousted head coach is unwilling to let the matter go, feeling he has been slandered by the club,
"I will lodge a complaint with the All India Football Federation regarding what happened. I'll also approach FIFA."
Meanwhile, the TRAU FC management is meeting today to pick a new head coach for the rest of the season. There are also indications that they may have to clarify their 'match fixing' comment to AIFF soon, in response to an official letter seeking clarification regarding the matter.