I-League 2017/18: Aizawl FC fined by AIFF, club president demands 'dues'
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has imposed a fine of Rs. 3 lakh on Aizawl FC for spectator violence and a four-match stadium ban to their manager after the fans lost their nerves against Mohun Bagan on January 25 at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
The reigning I-League champions were held to a 1-1 draw by the Mariners where the home team were not happy with many decisions made by the match referee Senthil Nathan.
Excerpts from the statement issued by the Chairman of AIFF Disciplinary Committee Usha Nath Banerjee read as follows:
“After considering and evaluating all the aspects and hearing the President of AFC (Robert Royte), who was present, the committee has come to the decision that Aizawl FC be treated as guilty for spectator violence for the match between Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan, played at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on 25 January 2018.
"In view of the fact as could be verified and seen, the team manager of AFC Hmingthan Sanga found guilty of raising his fist addressed to the ref. As because there was lack of evidence against the reported utterings of foul languages by the coach and assistant coach of Aizawl FC, the committee is not in a comfortable zone to impose any punishment or hold them guilty.
"Based on this, Aizawl FC have been imposed with a fine of INR 3 Lakhs. Taking into account its dimension, size and volume of finance which they have, the fine could have been much more. Considering the nature and functioning of Aizawl FC, the committee sympathetically reduced the fine.
"Team manager has been imposed with four-match suspension with immediate effect including stadium ban. The fine has to be submitted before the next match.”
Meanwhile, Aizawl FC President & owner Robert Royte said, "AIFF owes us Rs. 57 lakhs. These monies include the 2016 Federation Cup Runners-up prize money, a few Man of the Match and travel subsidies from last season. So, let them pay us that first.”
“We will think whether to appeal or not. I will have to discuss with my colleagues,” he added.
AIFF’s decision to impose fine on Aizawl FC may not come as a surprise as crowd violence post-match is not always the best solution in ‘the beautiful game’. However, more surprising is that the country’s football governing body is yet to pay a huge amount of money after years.
Previously, Mohun Bagan’s Dipanda Dicka and former Mariners’ favourite Sony Norde had admitted that their prize money have been rotting in the AIFF’s bank account. Well, with no action taken against the referee Senthil Nathan, this may well just be the tip of an iceberg.