Robert Pires 'punched in face' and 'beaten' by an opposition coach during Indian Super League match

Investigation launched following alleged incident involving former Arsenal player

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The Independent Online

The Indian Super League (ISL) said on Friday it is looking into allegation that former France midfielder Robert Pires was punched in the face by an opposition coach during a half-time altercation in Thursday's match in Goa.

Former Brazilian great Zico, the coach of FC Goa, said Pires told him about being hit by Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas in the tunnel when the teams left for the half-time break.

"Both teams have written to the ISL and the incident has been referred to the regulatory commissioner," an ISL spokesperson told Reuters.

Cavin Lobo's second-half brace took the Kolkata franchise, co-owned by La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, to a 2-1 win in the ill-tempered match, during which seven players were shown yellow cards, after Brazilian Andre Santos had given the hosts the lead in the first half.

"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," Zico told reporters after the match.

"Pires said he was punched on 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 Kolkata team lead the table with 10 points, having won three of their four matches in the eight-team competition.

"Look, none of us was present on the spot when the alleged incident took place," Kolkata team co-owner Utsav Parekh told the Telegraph newspaper.

"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."