Mohun Bagan to appeal against their I-League ban
“We are definitely going to appeal against the ban. Whether it will be in court or in some AIFF forum, that we will decide only after discussing internally at the club. The decision that has been made will hurt football in India so we hope the AIFF will reassess the circumstances and rethink their decision,” Mitra told the media.
According to the norms, any appeal against a decision made by the I-League core committee can be made to the AIFF executive committee. Hence, Mohun Bagan’s ban could still be reduced but the possibility of the ban getting revoked looks very unlikely within the procedures of the AIFF.
Huge protests were carried out at the Mohun Bagan club tent by angry supporters with the road in front of the club premises also being blocked for half an hour. Police had to intervene but the infuriated fans continued their verbal cries against the Mohun Bagan officials, especially Mitra and finance secretary Debashish Dutta, who also recruit players.
Mitra though once again defended the decision to not take the field in the second half against East Bengal on December 9 citing the example of the derby on August 16, 1980 when several fans died at the Eden Gardens after some violence in the stands.
“The protests are understandable because Indian football can’t move forward without Mohun Bagan. We wanted to avoid another August 16 massacre and thus didn’t take the field. If this decision (to ban us) stays, then in future when the safety of players and fans will be in question, matches will continue and another disaster will happen,” Mitra stated.
If Mohun Bagan’s ban stays, it will be interesting to see if they are able to keep their star names. An AIFF official confirmed that the Mohun Bagan players are eligible to move to another I-League club on loan in this season itself. Mitra, for now at least, refused to comment about that possibility.