Calcutta: Mohun Bagan’s cup of woe brimmeth over. Just as the club seemed to be making up for its lapses in the player-payment crisis, albeit in a crude patch-up process, the Fifa has struck a huge blow to its already crumbling credibility.
The world body’s letter to the club is very clear. No more recruitment of foreign players till April next, in view of the non-payment of dues to Nigerian Isa Musah and to Abdulateef Seriki, and a fine of $ 11,000 on top of that. Musah, who played for the club last year, had moved the world soccer body, complaining that he had not been paid his contractual dues. Fifa has always been strict on this issue, taking the side of the players almost always.
Musah had been suspended from the club for six months, on “disciplinary” grounds.
Club secretary Anjan Mitra is aware of the letter, but said he has yet to see it. The matter could not come up for hearing at an emergent executive meeting of the club Friday, because the secretary decided to move out too quickly.
Mitra said the suspension (“for refusing to take part in matches the club played and for misbehaviour”) has been reported (“copies sent”) to the Fifa and he also said that the club will appeal this ban and fine to the world body.
Hence the effort that the club was expected to put in for a foreign man in defence is now unlikely to happen. Bagan have in their ranks Brazilians Jose Ramirez Barreto and Marcos Pereira and Nigerian Akuneto Chukuwama.
The meeting itself decided to rearrange the holding pattern of the paid up capital of the club. The issue that had been executed in a hurry last December (Rs 1 lakh in two parts, Rs 50,000 picked up by the UB Group and the rest by the club), saw the shares taken up by the president, his son, the then football secretary and secretary Anjan Mitra.
Also, it was decided that a player-payment of Rs 7.98 lakh will be dealt with in two parts. In the first, assistant secretary Balaram Chowdhury will be paid back his Rs 4 lakh that he had given for payment, while the rest will be distributed among the players. This will be taken from the money that the UB Group would pay the club for the season.