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Pay up, Priya tells Bagan

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan are in all sorts of trouble, most of them created by the club itself. Sunday, though, it was a somewhat big surprise, when the All India Football Federation (AIFF) advised the club to pay the $ 11,000 fine imposed on it by Fifa “as quickly as possible”, before appealing to withdraw the ban by the world governing body or for recruitment of foreign players.

This comes at a time when the club has no known source of funds (especially not from their sponsor UB Group) and assistant secretary Balaram Chowdhury is reportedly pushing in personal money.

AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi held separate discussions with the IFA and Mohun Bagan officials on Sunday. Chowdhury represented the club at the ‘meeting’.

The club had expected the AIFF boss to help it find a way out of the mess. However, Das Munshi was in no mood to relent — not Sunday, at least — and passed the responsibility of tackling this issue back to the club.

Fifa had recently in a letter slapped the fine and barred the club from recruiting foreigners till April next in view of the non-payment of dues to Nigerian Isa Musah and Abdulateef Seriki. Musah had played for the club last year and had moved the world body complaining that he had not been paid his contractual dues.

Musah had been suspended by the club for six months on “disciplinary grounds”.

Assistant secretary Chowdhury said: “I will write to the secretary, asking him to convene an executive council meeting to discuss the issue.” He said if the player in question was suspended in January, “how was he fielded in February' That is illegal.”

Secretary Anjan Mitra refused to comment on this, saying any football-related comment by him would “tantamount to a contempt of court.”

In his meeting with IFA secretary Subrata Dutta, Das Munshi asked to be briefed on the issue and asked the state body to follow up the case. He later said: “I have told the IFA to ascertain the viewpoint of the club and send a report to the federation within 20 days.”

Dutta said the AIFF president asked him about the suspension of Musah and the procedures followed by the club for the same.

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