Mohun Bagan Super Giant are “furious” with the way Ashique Kuruniyan’s injury was handled by the Indian physio during their King’s Cup match against Iraq and have decided not to release their players for the upcoming Asian Games. The reigning Indian Super League champions, who are slated to begin their AFC Cup group stage campaign on September 19, have two players — Liston Colaco and Ashish Rai — in the 22-member squad for the Hangzhou showpiece whose football matches will begin on September 19. The 26-year-old India midfielder sustained an injury around the hour mark and had to be replaced by Rahim Ali in their King’s Cup semifinal match against Iraq on September 7.
An MRI on Kuruniyan revealed an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear and Mohun Bagan will form a medical board to address the issue, a Mohun Bagan official told PTI on Tuesday.
“For five days, they neglected his injury and didn’t even conduct an MRI. This is not something we’d expect from a Team India physio,” he asserted.
“If they had performed an MRI, we could have started physiotherapy earlier and minimised the extent of the injury.” “In light of this episode, there is absolutely no consideration of releasing our players for the Asian Games,” he said.
If it’s a long-term injury then Mohun Bagan may also seek compensation, the team official further said.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had earlier urged the 10 Indian Super League franchises to release players selected for the upcoming Asian Games keeping the “national interest in mind”.
“We all have the responsibility towards the country to make India proud… As Indians we are obliged to make sacrifices for the country and, in this process, you have to take a decision by releasing the players considering the National interest in mind,” AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran had written to the clubs whose players figure in the 22-member Indian squad.
The Igor Stimac-coached side will begin its campaign against hosts China on September 19, followed by matches against Bangladesh (September 21) and Myanmar (September 24).
The dates are clashing with Mohun Bagan’s AFC Cup and Indian Super League fixtures.
Two-time Inter-zonal semifinalists Mohun Bagan begin their AFC Cup group campaign against Odisha FC in Bhubaneswar on September 19 and they are slated to leave a day before.
In the ISL, which starts on September 21, the reigning champions have their first three matches on September 23 (Punjab FC), September 27 (Bengaluru FC) and October 7 (Chennaiyin FC).
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