Since his arrival in India, it has been anything but smooth sailing for Robbie Fowler. The SC East Bengal head coach has had to endure an extremely difficult start to the season and following that, has been engulfed in controversies off the field. And now, the latest twist in this saga sees him indulge in a war of words with the President of Delhi’s football federation, Shaji Prabhakaran.
The Liverpool legend had previously been cautioned by the All India Football Federation AIFF) for his comments against match officials. He is currently serving a four-match touchline ban for insinuating that referees in the Indian Super League (ISL) have an ‘anti-English’ and an ‘anti-East Bengal’ agenda. As if that was not enough, Fowler and his assistant coach Anthony Grant have once again been summoned by the federation for two fresh code of conduct violations after their match against Hyderabad FC. While Fowler has been accused of ‘hurling abuses towards the opponent team from the stands’, Grant said in his post-match comments that the referee had changed his stance on a penalty decision under pressure from Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez.
This led to Prabhakaran, who is quite active on Twitter, to voice his concern regarding the situation. In his tweet, he asked for more restraint from the Red and Golds coaching staff and called for Fowler to apologize for his behaviour. Not one to take it lying down, Fowler was quick with his response on the microblogging platform. He replied to Prabhakaran’s tweet saying that it was ‘poor practice’ on the part of the Football Delhi President to criticize a head coach on a social media platform and questioned his professionalism.
It didn’t end there. Prabhakaran went on to remind him that his initial tweet was due to the ‘weight of expectations from Fowler as a great ambassador of football’. He ended the tweet by extending an olive branch towards the former English striker. Amidst all this, the exchange has attracted a lot of attention from SC East Bengal fans who are naturally siding with Fowler. However, the language used by some leaves a lot to be desired considering the fact that they represent a century old legacy club.