Palmeiras return home with symbolic trophy

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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With the Indian Football Association dilly-dallying in deciding the fate of the abandoned IFA Shield final, the fancied Brazilain side Palmeiras left the metropolis with a trophy bought from the local market after declaring themselves champions. "We consider ourselves champions and would have loved to return with the real trophy. But since that's not happening, we are taking home a symbolic trophy we purchased," Palmeiras spokesman La martin da Silva said before the team left the city. The IFA Shield final between the Brazilian club, 21-time winners of their country's national league, and local giants East Bengal had to be abandoned 35 minutes into the first half after the two teams came to blows at the Salt Lake stadium grounds on Sunday evening. The Brazilian team was leading by a goal when play was stopped. Several Brazilians and East Bengal's Jo Paul Ancheri, Jackson Egyopyong, Dipankar Roy and Anit Ghosh sustained injuries in the clashes and subsequent police action. The IFA Shield Tournament Committee, which met here yesterday to decide the fate of the trophy, failed to reach a decision and decided to watch the video recording of the incident before giving a final verdict on Friday. The Palmeiras spokesman said the club management in Brazil had asked the team to return immediately and the matter would be taken up with All India Football Federation through Brazilian National Federation and the world football governing body, FIFA. (PTI)