Mohun Bagan banned for two I-League seasons
India's oldest soccer club, Mohun Bagan, was kicked out of the I-League on Saturday and banned from the next two editions by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for abandoning their match against East Bengal mid-way on December 9.
The I-League core committee met here and endorsed the report submitted by the one-man committee of A.K. Ganguly, a retired Supreme Court Judge.
Mohun Bagan were trailing 0-1 against their arch-rivals in the Kolkata derby when their player Syed Rahim Nabi, in the 43rd minute, was hit on the face by a stone hurled from the crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium. Play resumed after 15 minutes but Mohun Bagan refused to come out in the second half.
Ganguly said Mohun Bagan’s decision not to play the Kolkata match after interval can’t be supported on the grounds of Force Majeure, and that the club had breached Regulation 22 of the I-League.
According to Regulation 22, Mohun Bagan will withdraw from this season, all its matches in the 2012-13 have been cancelled and considered null and void, they are also disqualified from taking part in the next two editions of the I-League, will return any financial stipends paid by the I-League for the 2012-13 season.
Bagan stars can still play
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan’s star players like Okolie Odafa, Tolgay Ozbey and Syed Rahim Nabi are free to leave the green-and-maroon brigade and play for some other clubs, AIFF senior vice-president Subrata Dutta told PTI.
On being asked about the possibility of Mohun Bagan refusing to release the players, Dutta said, “The players are only bound to honour the contract of the club if they are ready to pay the full amount for the remaining part of their contracted tenure.” Dutta also clarified that provided any Bagan player wants to play for any other club on lien, the club will have no right to demand any monetary compensation from the new club.
The I-League core committee will again meet on January 9 to decide if the quantum of punishment imposed on Mohun Bagan is enough or if additional fine and suspension were needed.