Football

Robert Pires punched in the face by Atletico de Kolkata coach

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Arsenal legend Robert Pires was physically attacked by a rival manager during Thursday's Indian Super League clash between FC Goa and Atletico de Kolkata, according to his coach Zico.

Pires told the Brazilian tactician that he was punched in the face and beaten in a shocking outburst by Kolkata boss Lopez Habas, during an altercation that took place during half-time of Thursday's night sub-continent showdown.

Habas is alleged to have confronted Pires in the tunnel and launched himself at the Arsenal legend, an incident which the ISL will need to investigate swiftly to say the very least.

Zico speaks out

Following Goa's 2-1 defeat to the ISL leaders Zico decided to go public with what his players revealed about a half-time tussle involving his Kolkata counterpart, a story that makes for ugly reading.

Zico is quoted by the Daily Mail as telling reports in his post-match press conference: "The other thing that happened which is more serious is that one of our players said that he was beaten by the coach of the other team.

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Arsenal legend thankfully emerged unscathed

"Pires said he was punched in the face by the Atletico coach and it is very shameful.

"I am telling you what my players told me and I didn't see that myself but I don't think that Pires will lie and say something that didn't happen.'

The Indian Super League quickly released a statement revealing that their regulatory commission will be investigating Pires' claims, but Kolkata co-owner Utsav Parekh believes the matter can be resolved swiftly by examining CCTV footage to find out what really happen.

Habas is under fire

Paresh said: "Look, none of us was present on the spot when the alleged incident took place.

"We are writing to the ISL about it and we expect them to investigate the matter and come out with the truth.

"CCTV footage is available and so it will not be very difficult to establish the truth. Whatever the incident, one can find that out from the CCTV footage."

If the claims hold any weight its a regrettable incident for the ISL, a new competition still finding its feet and hoping for positive publicity rather than one where the marquee players invited are physically assaulted.

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Robert Pires

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