No one would have thought that the relationship between former Kerala Blasters FC striker CK Vineeth and Manjappada - the supporters group of Kerala Blasters would take such an ugly turn. Following a police complaint filed by Vineeth, who is a current player of Chennaiyin FC in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL), against Manjappada over an alleged cyber attack on the player, the fans group on Thursday has come out with a statement.
CK Vineeth had earlier alleged that there was a voice clip floating in the various Manjappada WhatsApp groups which accuses him of having shouted at a ball boy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi during a match between Blasters and Chennaiyin FC last week. This, according to Vineeth, was a rumour that was being spread to defame him and he also accused Manjappada of cyber-bullying.
Known to be an organised and vocal fan base of the club, the statement put out by Manjappada on Thursday stated that they have never promoted any form of bullying or abuse and never encouraged anyone to harass any player/officials. â€śWe have maintained the same decorum in our social media as well as in the stands,â€ť reads the statement.
The statement pointed out that the alleged voice clip, which was posted in Ernakulam Executive group of Manjappada was just a narration of an incident that happened during Kerala blasters FC vs Chennaiyin FC game on February 15. â€śThe person who is speaking in the clip is an executive member of Manjappada Ernakulam wing and he just narrated the incident from his perspective without any solid evidence,â€ť stated Manjappada. It also said that the voice clip, â€śsomehow went out of the said group and became viral in no time.â€ť
By condemning the fact that the clip originated from one of their WhatsApp groups, the Blasterâ€™s fans group also pledged to make sure that no such incident happens in the future.
The statement which was put out by Manjappada, also known as the â€ś12th manâ€ť of Kerala Blasters, also carried an image which read, â€śAbusing is not criticisingâ€ť along with a hashtag which said â€ś#StopCyberBullyingâ€ť. This image was shared by most of the players and former players of the Kerala Blasters including the team captain Sandesh Jhingan, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anas Edathodika, former player Ian Hume and so on, on their Instagram and Facebook handles.
In an interview to Asianet News, Vineeth had earlier said, â€śthe kid was watching the ball. He didnâ€™t hear me the first time due to all the noise so I called him again, with more volume on my sound. I did not say anything else and was not warned by the match commissioner. False allegations are being made against me whether is it by Manjappada or anyone else. I am fed up, I think I need to react.â€ť
Vineeth also went on to say that Manjappada maybe the number one fans in India based on their numbers but they are not the number one when it comes to supporting the team.