The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IFA may push league ban on Mohun Bagan

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan’s decision to stay away from the IFA Shield may have far reaching consequences.

The IFA authorities made it clear on Wednesday that they would propose the club be banned from the forthcoming Super Division League, when the association’s Governing Body meeting is convened next week.

“We will not register their players, thus stopping them from playing in any outstation tournament (including the National Football League) as well,” a top IFA official said.

The official, however, added that they would not take such a drastic step if Mohun Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra admits not letting his club play in the Shield was a mistake. “He has to do it officially. Otherwise, it’s our right to ensure they cannot play in the CFL or the NFL.”

The IFA functionary also made it very clear that it was obligatory for the club to play in the ongoing IFA Shield and they have broken a rule by not doing so. “It’s clearly written in the rule book that an affiliated unit of the association has to play in the CFL and the IFA Shield,” he said.

“We do not want to deprive thousands of Mohun Bagan. That’s why we made so many requests to the club to play in the Shield. But if they think they will not go by the association, they will have to pay the price,” the official added.

However, the person in the eye of the storm, Anjan Mitra, was in no mood to relent. “I’ll not apologise to the IFA under any circumstances,” the secretary said. “If they take any such action, we will move court.”

Mitra also argued that they are not obliged to play in the IFA Shield. “It is an entry-fee tournament and we have every right to stay away from it,” Mitra argued.

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