Muktijoddha Sangsad midfielder Zahed Parvez (2nd from L) celebrates after scoring the first goal against Feni Soccer Club during their Super Cup match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: STAR
Mayhem descended upon Bangabandhu National Stadium and its press box yesterday as defending champions Abahani made an ignominious and unsavoury exit from the Super Cup. The two-time finalists were held 0-0 by favourites Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra in their last match of Group A that resulted in their meek bow out from the money-spinning tournament.
The impending outcome did not go down well with the Sky Blues faithful as they created havoc midway through the match, hurling stones, brickbats, chairs and sticks towards the ground. But it was not the players and match officials only that bore the brunt of the mayhem, the media people also came under severe attack. The hollow frontier of the press box, still bearing the marks of the May 5 devastation by Hefajat-e-Islam, became an easy opening for the angry Abahani supporters to vent their frustration and anger, targeting the hapless journalists. The police looked through all these nonchalantly, either 'unable or unwilling' to stop the rampage. As the mediamen took shelter in the other corner of the press box to avoid the onslaught, one TV cameraman received injuries to his face.
The incident took place in the 52nd minute of the match when Abahani, still in search of a goal and looking at possible exit, saw their striker Enamul Haque along with Sheikh Russel defender Mamun Mia receive the marching orders for an aerial tussle. Enamul had seemed to use his elbow against Mamun, while the defender retaliated by kicking him on the feet. Enamul's was a straight red card while Mamun's marching orders came for his second yellow.
And that was reason enough for the Abahani supporters to turn ugly, as they were apprehending the worst since anything but a win would see their side miss the qualifying spot. Their worst fears came true as the match ended goalless and Abahani, having failed to make it to the Federation Cup and Independence Cup knock-out stages and finishing only third in the Premier League, made another humiliating exit. The fallen heroes had to wait for almost an hour in police cordon before they could make their way towards the dressing room, to avoid the wrath of their fans.
But their job was made all the more harder after Muktijoddha Sangsad raced to a 2-0 win over Feni Soccer Club earlier in the day, thanks to a 48th minute strike from midfielder Zahed Parvez Chowdhury and a stoppage time goal from Mohammad Ibrahim.
Muktijoddha qualified as runners-up from Group A with four points while Sheikh Russel topped the group with 7 points.
Group B has already found a qualifier in Mohammedan while the other semifinalists, either Brothers Union or Sheikh Jamal DC, will be decided after the two matches today.