I-League: Luis Norton slams Minerva Punjab

After Indian Arrows' defeat to Minerva Punjab on Tuesday, it's coach Luis Norton de Matos took to social media site Instagram to criticise it's opponent for hindering the progress of the country's U-17 players. 

De Matos is currently incharge of Indian Arrows, a developmental team comprising India's U-17 and U-19 players competing in the I-League. Fille photo   -  THE HINDU

After Indian Arrows' defeat to Minerva Punjab on Tuesday, it's coach Luis Norton de Matos took to social media site Instagram to criticise it's opponent for hindering the progress of the country's U-17 players. 

"Which reason Minerva's club does not authorized the use of 3 U17's players- Anwar Ali, Jeakson (Singh Thounaojam) and Nongdamba Naorem? Fear of not being able to secure the victory? Did they really need this attitude to beat an U-17 team? They have not 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," Matos wrote in the post.

His social media rant was a follow up to de Matos' comments in the post-match press conference where he said the availability of the three players could have made a difference to the outcome at the Bambolim stadium. De Matos is currently incharge of Indian Arrows, a developmental team comprising India's U-17 and U-19 players competing in the I-League. 

Much to its displeasure, Minerva had loaned Anwar, Jeakson and Nongdamba to the Arrows under the directive of the AIFF.  Under the terms of the loan agreement, the Arrows could not take to the field with these three loaness against its parent club. Arrows lost 2-0 after a brace from William Opoku.

When the criticism was brought to the notice of Minerva's owner Ranjit Bajaj on Twitter, he replied, "De Matos should be grateful that Minerva Punjab gave it's biggest star players to Indian Arrows for the benefit of Indian football. Jeakson is better known in Indian than Sonny Norde. And if he actually thinks they make such a difference then why would we allow..." taking a dig at the former India U-17 coach. 

It is a standard practice among clubs all over the world where the parent clubs activate a clause so as to not allow it's loanees to play against them.

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