Battered and bruised, the Nightmarish experience of a Chennaiyin fan...

Sabari Jagannathan  |  Tragedy  |  1 Year Ago

What a night. The Southern derby between two of the strongest teams saw everything from drama, action and goals. But the night concluded with an unfortunate incident near the East Stand Lower as a reckless security officer swinging his lathi in full flow against the away fans who were celebrating their victory against the hosts.


As one of the Chennaiyin fans recalls the nightmare experience…

“It was uncalled for. Dhanpal Ganesh was the hero on the night and he came to us to acknowledge the support. We were singing his name throughout and it was a surreal moment when he leaped to score the winner. Once he was near us, we were jumping with ecstasy still reliving the last few minutes in our memory. Ganesh was shaking hands with the fans over the fence and it was quite natural I wanted to congratulate him to. So I was standing against the fence and reaching out with my hands and that’s when it happened.”

There was a pause after he said that. The visible look of disappointment and anguish in his face gave away the story.

He then continued,

“I felt strong thump on my hands. The pain was excruciating. I turned around to see, this time I was away from fence. Yet another vicious swing of lathi and it was my legs this time. I tried to reason with him, but he was in no mood to listen and he swung his lathi like a madman in rage. By this time, Dhanpal left the scene completely unaware of what was going on and we naturally moved on. The pain is still there and I am unable to digest the fact that someone could act so inhumane with no restraint whatsoever. We had a long travel back to Chennai, though the result kept me happy; I knew the pain will take much longer to subside. The pain was so excruciating that I felt difficulty in even getting onto the bus”


The match was heated off the field as well. The chants of “F**k off Chennai” were already creating animosity and the security’s action added to fuel to the fire. There were many separate incidents when the security guard handled a similar situation differently. There was a BFC supporter who rushed right in front of the BSB in east stand lower and flashed his middle finger after Chhetri equalized for them. The security personnel escorted him, pacifying him to calm down. In the hindsight, it was the right thing to do by the security. I have to appreciate the way BSB handled this situation. They were not taking the bait and did not react to the taunt but rather held their own, which greatly helped in diffusing the situation.


They flashed the middle finger once again at Abhishek as he came towards the stands to acknowledge the support. Abhishek being Abhishek retaliated by gesturing the score line to the naughty crowd.

It was all in good spirit between the fans and derbies are expected to be that way. Be it the WBB or the Chennaiyin FC fans, they do share a mutual respect and the taunts, chants are done in good spirit. The most appalling thing was to see that many fans were rather insensitive about this particular incident asking the Chennaiyin fans to not be cry-babies about it and that the security guard was just doing his job. The security guy was doing his job when he pacified a Bengaluru supporter to calm down and there was no violence required then. The security guard’s job was not to beat the heck out of Chennaiyin fans.


I am pretty sure Bangalore fans would have been on the fence if Chhetri was shaking hands with them. The fence was always going to protect the fans from rushing on to the stadium. I totally get that at times fans do stupid things out of passion but clearly they were not trying to jump over the fences in this case. May be, the security guard could have been less vicious in swinging his lathi if he was just trying to just warn the fans.

I would be writing the same if this happened to any fans in any stadium. They are here to enjoy the experience of watching their favourite team play. It is primary duty of ISL and its security team to make sure they have a great experience. If they cannot do that, they at least should not make it a nightmare experience as they did in Bangalore.

Beaten, Bruised but still they were singing deep into the night courtesy of the 11 men on field who gave them a reason to be happy.


 Isn’t the beautiful game all about spreading happiness?


Note: The above article is the viewpoint of the victim fan, and Jersey Football Magazine shares no perspective in it. However, we’re firm believer of impeccable stewardship so that such unfortunate incidents could be avoided.

Is policing inside the stadiums instead of stewards really needed?


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