ATK Mohun Bagan took the field against Chennaiyin FC for their eighth match of the Indian Super League (ISL) campaign last night. The match ended in a draw and although fans of the Kolkata giants would count the side’s defensive performance as a positive, there was something else that managed to pique their interest, and not in a good way.
With Chennaiyin playing in their white away kit, the Mariners turned out in an all-black ensemble, presumably their third kit. Fans were quick to point out that this was a slightly refurbished version of the same kit that was used by the erstwhile ATK last season on their way to the ISL title. Since the club didn’t unveil their third kit for this season, the fact that the team went ahead and wore a jersey that is associated with ATK as a separate entity has angered supporters.
Some also have a beef with the idea that this particular kit doesn’t feature the club’s official colours, green and maroon, in any way, shape or form. According to them, this tarnishes the legacy club’s identity and stature as a football club and also alienates fans from the newly-merged entity.
This is probably the second time that #RemoveATK is trending on Twitter after the first week of November when fans vented their ire against a promotional video that the club had released. The presence of a ‘Champions 2019-20’ patch and three stars signifying ATK’s overall ISL triumphs on the sleeves of the new jersey were also met with disapproval from the fans.
The senior club management had to then step in and assure fans that their sentiments would be respected going forward. Now, with a new wave of controversy brewing, it remains to be seen if either side backs down as we enter the second half of the season. On the footballing front however, the Mariners are doing quite well and sit top of the table after 8 games with 17 points on board.