Asian Games: Mohun Bagan refuses to release Liston, 'furious' over Kuruniyan's injury management

Mohun Bagan Super Giant is not happy with the Indian football team's medical staff for mishandling the injury of Ashique Kuruniyan.

Update: 2023-09-12 16:56 GMT

Liston Colaco. (Photo credit: AIFF)

Mohun Bagan Super Giant has expressed its disappointment with winger Ashique Kuruniyan's injury being mishandled by the Indian national team's medical staff during the King's Cup clash against Iraq last week.

The Kolkata club is now unlikely to release Liston Colaco, part of India's Asian Games squad, reported Sportstar. Liston was one of the experienced members of the Indian team, with Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, and Sandesh Jhingan not being released by their respective clubs for the Asiad. 

26-year-old Kuruniyan sustained an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear and was replaced by Rahim Ali in India's King's Cup opening match against Iraq. India lost the match in the penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

'Team India physio neglected Kuruniyan's injury' 

As reported by PTI, a Mohun Bagan official revealed, "An MRI on Kuruniyan revealed an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear and Mohun Bagan will form a medical board to address the issue. For five days, they neglected his injury and didn't even conduct an MRI. This is not something we'd expect from a Team India physio."

The club said that if the Indian medical team had done its job measuring the extent of the injury, the effect of it could have been minimised.

Country vs club fight gains momentum 

This is the latest episode of the country versus club fight that broke out between the ISL clubs and the AIFF in the backdrop of team selection for India's international matches. Mohun Bagan expressing anger on Kuruniyan's injury management and refusing to release Liston is one of the additions to the ongoing tussle. 

On Tuesday, the rumours of the Indian team not providing return tickets to players and the team manager taking away the passports from the players to keep them back in Thailand beyond the FIFA international window had done rounds. 

Shaji Prabhakaran, the Secretary General of the AIFF, categorically denied the allegation.

Earlier, Shaji had written to all the ISL clubs asking them to release their players for the upcoming Asian Games keeping the national interest in mind.

It is important to note that the Asian Games is out of the FIFA international window thus the ISL clubs are not obliged to release their players for the continental showpiece.  

With senior players not being released by their clubs, AIFF even considered withdrawing the team from the Asian Games in its executive committee meeting earlier this week. But on the Sports Authority of India's insistence, it agreed to send a second-string team to China for the Asiad.


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