Soon, poor performances hampered the team’s progress and the axe fell on coach A Robin Charles Raja’s head. The coach was ousted as he wasn’t in same wavelength as the team’s management. Robin was soon replaced by Southern Railway coach V Soundararajan and it looked like things were going well.
Just when it looked like the focus for Chennai would be on the performances, a players’ revolt against non-payment of dues surfaced. However, the flames were doused in quick time by the management citing a miscommunication and a part of the dues were settled immediately.
Then hell broke loose after Chennai’s home match against Bengaluru two days ago when Afghanistan midfielder Haroon Fakhruddin Amiri opened a can of worms after not heeding to Soundararajan’s call to take the field as a substitute.
The coach revealed that the Afghan player was ‘not keen’ to find his name in the substitutes list. “I don’t have a replacement in the forward’s position. In the last match against DSK, Amiri played very good and gave us the maximum level.
“But we did not have good substitutions, especially Raegan who has not played well of late. But today I wanted to give Raegan a chance and wanted to bring Amiri on later. But unfortunately, he was expecting to play in the first eleven. He did not even do the warm ups,” Soundararajan told reporters after the match against Bengaluru FC.
The brouhaha reached a point where both Amiri and Chennai City FC had to part ways. Just before calling it quits from the club, Amiri too dished out his version.
“I have never in my entire footballing career played under a more unprofessional coach than Mr. Soundararajan. His coaching techniques are basic and less said of his handling of his players, the better,” Amiri’s statement had said.