ISL 2017: FC Pune City file appeal against AIFF's 4-match ban on coach Ranko Popovic
What's the story?
Discontent with the All Indian Football Federation’s (AIFF) decision to suspend their coach Ranko Popovic for four ISL matches, FC Pune City has filed a complaint against the governing body. The Pune-based side feels that the decision was not just unfair but also unnecessary.
In case you didn't know...
Ranko Popovic called the referees “jokers” during a post-match conference against their tie with FC Goa, as a result of which, he was penalised. Following such a decision was taken by the AIFF, several fan clubs across the country have joined hands to raise their voice against the decision.
The heart of the matter
According to FC Pune City, AIFF’s disciplinary committee has misinterpreted the use of the word “joker”, a term that coach Popovic had used to describe the referee and his assistants after the FC Goa vs FC Pune City match. The club believes that the term wasn’t used to term the officials as clowns; instead, it was used to denote that they were trumps in a card game and can make all the difference.
The Orange Army was hoping that a committee would take up the appeal as a matter of priority and pass an interim order that will allow the coach to enter the technical area, but the lack of committee members means that a verdict can be given only after a week.
FC Pune City are currently being managed by their assistant coach Vladica Grujic and have earned an emphatic 5-0 win over the NorthEast United FC in their last match. With their next match against Kerala Blasters FC on January 4, they will be hoping that their coach is given the green signal by then.
FC Pune City are on a high following their win and are now placed second in the standings with 15 points from eight matches. The Maharashtra-based club has never qualified for the knockout stages in the previous three editions of the Indian Super League, but they have a bright chance to make it through this season. For this to make happen, the return of Ranko Popovic is of utmost importance.