| Chandan: 2-match ban
New Delhi, Nov. 9: East Bengal have got a much-needed boost for their National Football League campaigns when All India Football Federation (AIFF) drastically reduced punishments to three of their key players on Saturday.
Midfielder Chandan Das and new-recruit K. Kulothungan were punished for two and twelve months, respectively, apart from fines, due to their indiscipline in the Santosh Trophy in Manipur while defender Arun Malhotra was charged with taking drugs prior to the Busan Asian Games.
However, the AIFF disciplinary committee, which met here, lessened the punishments meted out to Chandan and Kulothungan by All Manipur Football Association (AMFA) and the Santosh Trophy disciplinary committee.
The disciplinary committee also took serious note of the abandoned semi-final match between Goa and Manipur and has fined the AMFA Rs. 1 lakh and said the state will not be allotted any national-level championships till the end of the next season (2003-04).
Kulothungan, who entered the field after the final whistle and tried to assault the referee, following Tamil Naduís quarter final league match against Manipur had been suspended for twelve months and fined Rs. 10,000. Now, he has been suspended for four matches and the fine reduced to Rs. 5,000.
Chandan Das was fined Rs. 5,000 and suspended for two months starting from October 29, for misconduct after the Bengal versus Kerala tie in the Santosh Trophy. However that has been reduced to a suspension for just two matches and the fine has been waived.
Bengalís assistant coach Sishir Ghosh has been suspended for three months and fined Rs. 5,000. If the fine is not paid within 30 days, the suspension will be for an additional two months.
The disciplinary committee accepted Malhotraís plea and suspended him for two months starting from September 24.