Sanjoy Sen: Inhuman to play 11 matches in 30 days

Sen had reasoned that his players were left with no time to prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League qualifying round, which was to be held just three days after the Shivajians outing.

Sanjoy Sen, coach for Mohun Bagan, has defended his criticism of his team's scheduling   -  Sanjoy Ghosh (File Photo)

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen has defended his criticism of the AIFF, which had led to him being served a show-cause notice by the national governing body.

Over a week ago, Sen had said that the AIFF was “sold out”, after his request to postpone an I-League fixture, against DSK Shivajians, was turned down. Sen had reasoned that his players were left with no time to prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League qualifying round, which was to be held just three days after the Shivajians outing. The match was eventually advanced by 90 minutes, to allow Bagan some breathing space.

“Maybe I was too critical, but there some logic to what I said. Someone has to talk about it (scheduling issues). If you see Bagan's fixtures — or even BFC's fixtures — we are playing 11 matches in 30 days. Does any other team in the world play so much? And then you expect us to perform well. It is inhuman,” Sen said here on Friday.

Sen received no sympathy from BFC coach, Ashley Westwood. “We faced the same situation last year. We played in Asia, before returning to India after only 24 hours to win an I-League match. It is just a case of managing the players well,” Westwood said, when asked about Sen's comments.

Westwood alleged that Bagan has received preferential treatment by AIFF. “Mohun Bagan has been looked upon favourably. They have had a match postponed (against Shillong Lajong, to give Bagan a rest), a match brought forward (against Shivajians), and were actually driven to the airport by the AIFF (to catch their flight to China, in order to compete in the AFC engagement),” Westwood said.

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