After a string of three losses, last year's runners-up FC Goa claimed a draw against Atletico de Kolkata, opening their account with a point in the third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).
"I am really pleased with my team even though we conceded in the first six minutes but we fought on and played well. We took a lot of risk to try to win the game even though the Kolkata team has a lot of good players", Zico analysed post the game.
That was not all as the 63 year old went about complaining the standard of refereeing considering how there were two sending offs in the game.
"In the time we were the best in the game, the referee expelled one from Kolkata and they tried to balance it by expelling one from Goa. I don’t know what is going on but in the three years I am here all the crucial goals are against us. I am here to help Indian football development and not to earn money. If they want me here I can be here to help but if they don’t, I can pack my bags and leave", a displeased Zico stated.
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When asked if all wrong decisions were targeted towards his team, the former Selecao legend replied in the affirmative.
"It’s a good question and even I want to know that. You know that I am here and working. You know how I set up. I am doing everything right and nothing wrong, just playing football. I don’t know why all the wrong decisions go against us. Before I came here (to address the media), in the dressing room I asked my player if he gave an elbow on Hume. Raju (Gaikwad) told me that he did. In that situation if Raju was expelled I wouldn’t mind," said Zico.
When asked if the fiasco in last year's final where personnel from both camps (Chennaiyin and FC Goa) were involved in a brawl after the match, hung around in the minds of the referees when they had to take a decision on the pitch, Zico acknowledged and hopes that some good referees from FIFA are called to officiate matches in the ISL.
"In the final the only thing happened was Mendoza wanted to be Maradona like the Hand of God and so everyone was upset. That is what happened. And because of this situation everything happened. We conceded, our players got very angry, we lost the tournament, our president came in, and all the mess happened. After that we couldn’t retain some players and hence here we are.
"About the referee, it is better that you get a FIFA referee. If you bring some guy, they get tired and are jetlagged. They officiate one or two games and go away. Like you get good players to play, you can also get good referees so that the Indian referees can learn from them. If the current (lot) are from FIFA, then there is something wrong in FIFA," proclaimed the Flamengo legend.
Marquee player Lucio was missed in central defense and Zico explained the reason for the that the former Bayern Munich player's absence.
"He injured his foot in the game against Chennaiyin and still hasn’t recovered. Because of that in the pre match I told you that we still needed a practice. He didn’t play because he was injured," he said.
FC Goa next play against Mumbai City FC away from home and Zico was optimistic about a turnaround in fortunes.
"I'm very happy with what happened today. Tomorrow is another today. We have to start again. Our team showed a lot of determination and fought for every ball. They showed what the Goans are made of," he signed off.