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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Bagan are in deep trouble

New Delhi: Mohun Bagan find themselves in deep trouble for withdrawing from the contest midway through the I-League tie against East Bengal on Sunday. Though the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will be convening a meeting of the I-League committee before Mohun Bagan’s next match against Pailan Arrows on December 15 to take a decision, the ouster of the green and maroon outfit from the rest of the ongoing league seems a certainty.

The three-time National League champions could also be barred from the I-League for two years unless the power lobby within the federation deliberately delays a decision by sending the matter to the executive committee via the disciplinary committee.

Mohun Bagan’s plea that they were “unable to continue the match any further due to law and order situation” is unlikely to find a buyer. The match commissioner, Gulab Chauhan, and referee Vishnu Chauhan have stated in their reports that the situation was under control to continue the tie in the second half.

“I am in no position to pronounce a judgement but the matter, naturally, would have to be dealt in accordance with the I-League regulations,” Sunando Dhar, Chief Executive Officer of the I-League said.

The clause 22 C of the I-League regulations that any team that fail to appear at any stage of the competition, except in cases of force-majeure recognised by the I-League Committee, or if it refuses to continue to play or leaves the stadium before the end of the match, the Club shall:

1) Be considered to have withdrawn from the Competition.

2) Have all its matches cancelled and considered null and void (all points, goals scored and goal against will not be counted and taken into consideration when deciding the ranking in the I-League).

3) Be disqualified from taking part in the next two (2) edition of the Competition from which it withdrew. The I-League Committee may extend the suspension depending on the gravity of the situation and/or damages.

The only point that perhaps could have gone in favour of Mohun Bagan was the case of a force-majeure or unavoidable accident, but that, too, has been negated by the reports of the supervisors. The referee also stated that he waited nearly 18 minutes on the pitch for Mohun Bagan.

“East Bengal could not be punished for the stone throwing incident as it definitely came from the st-and designated for Mohun Bagan supporters,” said an AIFF official. Mohun Bagan made it an issue even though the match commissioner, Chauhan broke the convention and went to Mohun Bagan dressing room to request them to resume the match.