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AIFF in face-saving act after Papas' boycott threat
September 23, 2012
NEW DELHI: In what seemed to be a face-saving act after Arthur Papas, coach of its developmental side Pailan Arrows, threatened to boycott their next match in the Federation Cup due to unplayable surface, the AIFF today said that the Aussie never made any such statement.
justify; ">After yesterday's match against Mumbai FC, reports quoted Papas as saying, "We don't want to play the next match."
"The All India Football Federation is in possession of the audio of the press conference and hence, takes strong exception to such reports as Papas never made any such comment in the post-match press conference which was conducted after Pailan Arrows' match against Mumbai FC in Jamshedpur on Friday," the AIFF said in a statement.
It further said, "Pailan Arrows have every intention of playing the final Group League match on September 23 (against Shillong Lajong FC) in order to try and proceed to the semi-finals."
Papas said he had talked to his club chairman and apprised him of the situation.
Asked whether he would field his team in the next match, if the ground situation did not improve, Papas said, "We will think as we have time to see if the field condition improves."
"Certainly, I am more concerned about the safety of my players and would not allow them to play," he told reporters yesterday.
The AIFF has received lot of flak for the way the tournament is being organised.