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FC Goa raises alarm over alleged spying incident by Mumbai City FC

FC Goa files official complaint with Indian Super League over alleged 'integrity issue' involving Mumbai City FC's spying on training session ahead of clash.

Petr Kratky Football

Petr Kratky (Source: Mumbai City FC)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 27 Feb 2024 11:39 AM GMT

FC Goa has officially lodged a complaint with the Indian Super League (ISL) authorities against defending champions Mumbai City FC. The complaint, centered around what FC Goa has termed an 'integrity issue,' has cast a shadow over the upcoming clash between the two sides.

The controversy unfolded as FC Goa prepared for their encounter against Mumbai City FC scheduled for 28th February at the Mumbai Football Arena. Allegations surfaced that Mumbai City FC had dispatched a photographer/analyst to spy on FC Goa's training session held on 27th February in Mumbai, ahead of their match.

An FC Goa official, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed to 90ndStoppage, "Mumbai City FC’s analyst was spotted at our match day – 1 training session in Mumbai. The analyst has recorded footage related to the training."

The development has left FC Goa's head coach, Manolo Marquez, visibly incensed. Marquez expressed his dismay during the pre-match press conference, where he did not hold back his frustration. Responding to a query regarding Borja Herrera’s injury status, Marquez pointedly remarked, “Ask the photographer who was recording our training session. The photographer from Mumbai City FC. Check with Mumbai if he is training or not."

This incident bears semblance to a similar controversy involving English football club Leeds United in 2019. Leeds' Argentine manager, Marcelo Bielsa, had admitted to having staff watch all their opponents' training sessions that season, prompting a £200,000 fine and a formal reprimand from the English Football League (EFL).

The EFL, in response to the incident, imposed new regulations prohibiting clubs from viewing opposition training within 72 hours before a fixture, unless explicitly invited to do so.

As the ISL investigates FC Goa's complaint against Mumbai City FC, the league faces a critical juncture in upholding its integrity and ensuring fair play among its member clubs.

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