Crystal Palace FC, Gampola manager Hilmy Saleem has apologized to the Blue Star SC players and fans for the unfortunate incident that happened after the Crystal Palace v Blue Star match at the Jayathilake Stadium, Nawalapitiya.
The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has imposed bans and fines on Crystal Palace FC and their secretary…
Saleem speaking with ThePapare.com added that it was not their fans, but it was the Nawalapitiya fans;
“Match ended well. We were having a chat with them (Blue Star) near their bench. All of a sudden, the issue came up between Blue Star spectators & Nawalapitiya fans. They were not our fans. This happened 15 minutes after the match end.”
“When I was notified I told them to wait as I was responsible. I called the Nawalapitiya League Secretary who is also the Up-Country Lions Secretary. He said wait and that he’ll come and settle the issue. Before he could come some Blue Star supporters went up shouting and then it all started. Blue Star players went to bring them back. They were also hit,” he described how the incident started.
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“No Crystal Palace fans or players were involved. We were also helpless. Only two of our officials were there. We were playing away from Gampola. We had no control. Extremely sorry Blue Star.”
When asked about not providing adequate police or security protection he had this to say;
“It was a mistake from us (not providing police protection). We have been playing DCL (Dialog Champions League) for 5 years and we haven’t used police for matches. We were confident of our players and fans that they won’t make an issue.”