Anas hits out at AIFF over ban

Anas hits out at AIFF over ban

Anas Edathodika. DH PHOTO

Kerala Blasters' new recruit Anas Edathodika on Thursday hit out at the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for 'wrongly' banning him in the fracas that occurred during a Super Cup match between Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa in April.

Anas, then representing Jamshedpur, is one of the six players who were reprimanded by the AIFF for allegedly engaging in a brawl that broke out between the two teams at the end of first half in the Super Cup quarterfinal at Bhubaneswar. Subrata Paul and Haitian Kervens Belfort from JFC and Brandon Fernandes, Bruno Pinheiro and Sergio Marin from Goa were red-carded in that ugly fight and AIFF later added a two-match ban to that suspension. The second half of that game was played by eight men from each side. Anas will miss the first three games of ISL owing to the ban. 

Anas, imposed an extra fine of Rs 1 lakh, was bitter about not being given a fair trial. "I'm very upset with the ban. I didn't hit anyone in the scuffle that took place. I was just trying to separate everyone who were involved in that fight. I've been wrongly handed a three-match ban," said defender during ISL's 'media day' that caught the organisers by surprise. 

"Even the opponents know that I didn't hit anyone. There's video evidence to prove that I didn't hit anyone. The video shows who all traded blows. I told everyone of the incident that took place and what I did too. But no one is listening to my version of the story. I'm okay with the red card and even the Rs 1 lakh fine but definitely not the three-match ban simply because I didn't hit anyone. I don't care even if they (AIFF) throw me out from the national team but I did nothing wrong," thundered the 31-year-old.   

Anas also slammed Goa players for poor behaviour which led to the scuffle. "Subrata Paul is a very senior player. Whether a player is young or old, good or bad, I respect them all because all of them are players. A lot of young players from the opposite side were saying nasty things by pointing fingers. I told them not to do such things because Subrata is a senior player who has played for India. He's even won awards. Whether he's good or bad, we need to respect him as a player."