Calcutta: McDowell Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa said that it will be a challenge for the team to start from scratch.
State sports minister Madan Mitra said the fine was too heavy, while Bagan player Syed Rahim Nabi rued there is threat of relegation since Bagan will start from zero .
Here’s what they had to say (in alphabetical order)
Karim Bencharifa: It will be a challenge to start from scratch with zero points, with the closest team (United Sikkim FC) 10 points ahead. But we are ready for it… In fact, under these circumstances, there is only one way… And that is, we can only go up.
Chuni Goswami: AIFF must formulate rules, which should benefit the clubs. The rule 22 (C) was absolutely wrong in the first place… How can you ban a club with such a large fan base and so much of history?
Madan Mitra: I am very happy that the suspension has been withdrawn. But the fine of Rs 2 crore imposed on Mohun Bagan is a hefty one.
Syed Rahim Nabi: I want to thank AIFF for revoking the ban. It feels good that we will be taking the field soon… Since we will be starting from scratch, there will be a threat of relegation. Now, the responsibility is greater for us. This was a sort of pre-season for us.
Tolgay Ozebe: It is heartening to learn that the ban has been lifted. We have trained really hard even after we were banned. The players have recovered from the injuries… We are absolutely ready.
The success of the club will not just depend on Okolie Odafe and my performances. We need to perform as a unit… The coach has really kept us motivated during this phase. Now, we have to follow his instructions and execute his plans if we want to achieve success.
I know that there is pressure on me to perform. I hope to play a key role in the club’s success.