Will it be a not so happy new year for Mohun Bagan? The tidings look ominous for the Kolkata giants. They are staring at a two-year ban from the I-League for abandoning their match against East Bengal mid-way through on December 9.
The AIFF has summoned an I-League core-committee meeting in the Capital on Saturday and the verdict is likely to be announced after discussions. Top sources in the All India Football Federation have told DNA that the iconic club is likely to be handed a two-year ban by one-man committee of retired Supreme Court judge Justice (retired) AK Ganguly.
Earlier, the report of the one-man commission was received and reviewed by the committee for necessary follow-up action after Justice (retd) Ganguly gave a hearing to the club and the AIFF for over five hours on December 24. I-League core-committee has members of four top clubs — holders Dempo Sports, East Bengal, Shillong Lajong FC and Pune FC. An AIFF representative will also be present at the deliberations on Saturday.
Bagan were represented by three lawyers, headed by Gitanath Ganguly, along with the club’s general secretary Anjan Mitra and director Debasish Dutta. The AIFF was represented by its legal counsel Usha Nath Banerjee.
Mitra tried his best to convince that there was law and order problem during the match but with the other top club officials openly asking AIFF to go by the rules and regulations, the chances of Bagan escaping a hard penalty is highly unlikely.
According to AIFF constitution’s Clause 22, Bagan stand banned for two years for not returning to the field. DNA has learnt that if there is any chance of escape for Bagan, then it would be only if the club could prove that its action falls under the category of “Force Majeure” in the I-League charter.