Kochi: Kerala Blasters have returned from the UAE cancelling their pre-season matches and started practice at the Panampilly Nagar school ground in Kochi. The team alleged that Michi Sports, the organisers, failed to make the necessary preparations. They approached the team with indignity and failed in arranging accommodation, training and travel. The management thanked the fans for their support during the first match in Dubai.
Blasters ended the UAE tour abruptly because of Michi Sports’ indifference, main sponsors Emirates First Business Service MD Jamad Usman said. “We have all the agreement papers. Michi Sports is making false allegations about the issue. Legal action will be initiated against them,” Jamad said.
Michi was offered 1 lakh dirham as title sponsors, of which 50,000 was given in advance and the rest promised after two matches. Their statements about the agreement sum are baseless. They failed to deliver over live telecast, media coverage and other sponsor rights. Blasters will be brought to the UAE in the future, Jamad said.
Only one van for team
The team’s decision to return was made after the hotel management insulted head coach Elco Satori. The hotel manager insisted that Elco pay the bill after his meal. The players and support staff decided not to stay at a hotel that humiliated their coach. Club management too agreed with their decision to leave the place.
The sponsors had failed to pay for their stay and food in advance, it is learnt. They refused to give the team a bus for transport to training and game venues. Only a van was provided. The first match could not be covered by the media.