Subrata Pal: ‘Need no motivation to play football’

Subrata Pal, playing his first match since testing positive for a banned substance late last month, was in focus when he captained DSK Shivajians to a stunning 2-0 victory over Bengaluru FC in the Federation Cup.

Pal, who had missed out on Shivajians' first match against Mohun Bagan, made several saves, including some spectacular ones, to deny the aggressive Bengaluru side any advantage.   -  Special Arrangement

Subrata Pal, playing his first match since testing positive for a banned substance late last month, was in focus when he captained DSK Shivajians to a stunning 2-0 victory over Bengaluru FC in the Federation Cup football tournament at the Barabati Stadium here on Wednesday.

Pal, who had missed out on Shivajians' first match against Mohun Bagan, was a picture of determination as he made several saves, including some spectacular ones, to deny the aggressive Bengaluru side any advantage. “I don't need any motivation to play football,” said 30-year-old Pal.

Even as Pal, who is expected to present his case before a National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) disciplinary panel sooner than later, parried questions related to the doping issue as Shivajians' coach Dave Rogers hailed the seasoned goalkeeper for his performance and commitment.

Sympathising with Pal, Rogers said he did not field his first-choice goalie against Bagan as he wanted Subrata to recover mentally after going through a harrowing experience on account of his positive dope test.

“Subrata was really disappointed when I did not start him. I did that for a reason, but today he was the captain. I love the guy. Subrata is a great guy, a great professional. He is having a tough time,” said Rogers.

Without pointing finger at any particular scribe, the Shivajians coach said Paul deserved a better treatment from the press. “Subrata is innocent until proven guilty. I am really proud of Subrata – the way he really came back to perform here,” said Rogers.

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