Zico slams ATK for inadequate training facility

"According to the ISL rules, the hosts should provide us with a proper place to practice, which was not done here. But if you are in Goa it is not like that. We respect our opponents and even if we do not train at Fatorda stadium, we let our rivals do the training there. I thought about not coming here (news conference), but decided to turn up out of respect for you," Zico said.

FC Goa head coach Zico wanted to skip the pre-match press conference but decided against it out of "respect" for the waiting journalists.   -  R Ragu

Controversies seem to have become a consistent part of the Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa contest. With suspensions, fines and bans becoming a regularity in many of the previous meetings between the two sides, the legendary coach of FC Goa, Zico, added a new dimension by slamming the hosts for giving his side “poor practice facility” ahead of his team’s match on Sunday.

The manager of FC Goa sounded so upset with the development that he began the customary media conference expressing his displeasure and said that he thought of skipping the pre-match news conference but later decided against it out of “respect” for the waiting journalists.

“According to the ISL rules, the hosts should provide us with a proper place to practice, which was not done here. But if you are in Goa it is not like that. We respect our opponents and even if we do not train at Fatorda stadium, we let our rivals do the training there. I thought about not coming here (news conference), but decided to turn up out of respect for you,” Zico said.

FC Goa were not given access to the venue, Salt Lake Stadium, where they thought of having the 45-minute practice session and were asked to train at the Mohun Bagan ground. ATK too, trained outside, at the Bidhannagar Municipal ground, looking to preserve the newly laid turf in apprehension of damaging it before the match.