New Delhi: Mohammedan Sporting were held goalless by Haywards 2000 Sporting Clube de Goa in their vital second division National Football League final round encounter here Sunday.
The Goa team have now almost certainly qualified for the premier division next season. The other qualifying team will be determined after the tie between Mohammedan Sporting and State Bank of Travancore (SBT) Tuesday.
Mohammedan Sporting are on four points from two matches, the same as Sporting Clube. However, the Goan team has a superior goal difference (5-2, against Mohammedan Sporting’s 2-1). SBT are on three points from two matches. So SBT need a win in their last match to qualify. For Mohammedan Sporting a draw will suffice.
Sporting Clube also need just a draw to seal their qualification. Their last match is with lowly Air India.
An area of concern for Haywards Sporting is violation of AIFF rules as regards players on loan from the same state. According to the rules, Haywards Sporting could only register two players from their home state of Goa. However in the NFL preliminary league matches they registered and played three players, Bishant Bednekar (MPT), Dico D’Souza (Dempo) and Bungo Singh (Salgaocar).
The Goa sports minsiter, Francisco Xavier Pacheco, who is attached to another Goan outfit, Fransa club, made a formal complaint. His plea is that Haywards Sporting should be scratched from the NFL for violating the rules. If that happens then both Mohammedan Sporting and SBT will qualify.
PTI adds from Margao: Acting to that the AIFF has asked the Goa Football Association (GFA) to submit a report by May3. Accusing AIFF and GFA of working hand in glove, Pacheco said both federations had “intentionally” overlooked the violation.