Mumbai: Indian Arrows head coach Luis Norton de Matos slammed Minerva Punjab for not allowing the club’s on loan players to feature against their own club, in the 0-2 loss to the Punjab Lions.
As many as four players from Minerva Punjab have been sent on loan to the Indian Arrows for more game time. However, according to the loan agreement, Jeakson Singh, Anwar Ali and Nongdamba Naorem would not be allowed to play when Arrows face the Chandigarh based club across the two legs. While, such as a clause was inserted in the loan agreement abiding by the International Law of Soccer and the regulations of the English Premier League, which do not permit a player on loan to play against the team which hold their registration, Matos considered it as a ploy to prevent his team from winning.
“For what reason did Minerva’s club not authorize the use of three U17’s players- Anwar Ali, Jeackson and Nong? Is it the fear of not being able to secure the victory? Did they really need this attitude to beat an U17 team? Do they not have enough confidence in their good players and coaching staff? Strange philosophy of a senior professional team that uses 5 foreigner players!! A youth football development project in a country and the progress of its players will always have priority over the individual interests of a club desirous of winning a match at any price,” wrote the Portugese in his Instagram page.
The Indian Arrows fielded by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is a developmental team that aims to nurture the future stars of Indian football and comprises of some of the top U-17 and U-19 stars.
While Matos blasted Minerva for such a move, the club owner and CEO Ranjit Bajaj did not hold back and countered, pointing to the fact that his club abided by the International rules.
“De Matos and AIFF should be grateful that Minerva gave it’s biggest star players to the @Indianarrows for the benefit of Indian football, Jeakson is better known in India than Sony Norde and if he thinks they actually make such a difference, then why would we allow…,” the club head wrote on his Twitter page.
Not stopping form taking a further dig at Arrows and India U-17 head coach, he also further stated, “Can you ask him please, I thought he was from Portugal and knew all about professional football.”
Those comments have already heated up things between both the clubs, with many taking Minerva’s side and also asking AIFF to ban De Matos.