The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 12 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ties could be on hold

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday failed to arrive at a decision on Mohun Bagan and decided to wait for some more time.

While senior officials, including I-League chief executive officer Sunando Dhar, met federation president Praful Patel to discuss the matter late on Tuesday, sources said the federation was yet to get the legal opinion from a retired high court judge.

“A retired high court judge was requested to give us an opinion on the subject, especially on the Force Majeure issue. But he is yet to submit his report.

Once the report comes, the president will discuss it with other officials before taking a decision,” sources said.

There is also a possibility that all further matches involving Mohun Bagan would be postponed if the federation fails to reach a conclusion before Saturday when the green and maroon outfit play their next I-League match against Pailan Arrows.

“The AIFF president has asked us to take all things into consideration before reaching a decision,” said Dhar. “He does not want any complication to arise out of it in future.”

Though, going by the regulations, it is almost an open-and-shut case with little room for Mohun Bagan to escape a two-year ban from the I-League, the AIFF officials are worried that the Calcutta team may take the case to the court of law pleading they were compelled to withdraw because of poor law and order situation in Sunday’s tie.

Sources said that AIFF officials explained to Patel that not taking any action against Mohun Bagan may set a bad precedent.

“The other teams will also start boycotting matches on the same grounds. Then, it will be difficult to take action against them,” an official said.

Though the Bagan officials are lobbying hard, Patel is believed to be not too happy with the way they walked out of the match against East Bengal. Their act, Patel felt would have a negative impact on the game.

“We have taken a serious note of it. But we will not make a hasty decision as there could be long-term implications. Whatever has happened, will surely have a bad impact on football,” Patel said earlier.

“It’s a very serious issue… These things should not happen in a city like Calcutta where big matches are held regularly.

This incident will definitely raise a question mark about the credibility of the venue. But we can assure that we will not be biased. We will take the right decision,” he added.