In a major boost to Mohun Bagans efforts to evade punishment given by AIFF, I-league club owners Shrinivas Dempo , Larsing Ming and Pune FC Head of Operations Chirag Tanna have expressed their solidarity towards the club ahead of the proposed meeting of executive committee and core committee on 15th January at AIFF house, Delhi.
In an interview with Marcus Mergulhao of Times of India, Mr Dempo expressed his personal opinion of the ban being too long for a major club like Mohun Bagan “It is purely my personal feeling. I feel the ban is a little too harsh. I’m yet to be convinced otherwise and I am open to being convinced”.
“I felt a strong deterrent was needed for what Mohun Bagan did against East Bengal. The refusal to continue with the match amounts to indiscipline, it all depends how the AIFF Executive Committee looks at the issue. We could have a combination of a lesser punishment and monetary fine,” Mr. Dempo told The Times of India at Dempo House, Goa.
Earlier, AIFF vice-president and Shillong Lajong FC General Secretary Larsing Ming, who had attended the core meeting on 29th December was quoted as saying in an interview with Goal.com “As a lover of football, it would be a shame to not have Mohun Bagan in the national league for the next two years, but that’s from a football lovers perspective. However, there are certain rules that may have been broken and if found to be true, someone in the club has to pay for it. I don’t know if the club or some people have to be held accountable for that fiasco,”
Popular TV pundit and senior football analyst Novy Kapadia has also opined on a popular news website that a ban on Mohun bagan will kill Indian football “If Bagan is banned for two years think it will be the death knell of Indian football. No TV channels or sponsors will show interest in Indian football. India’s derby matches East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan is ranked by FIFA amongst the top 50 derby games in the world. People look to Indian football because of this match. Now we will not have this match anymore. IPL will not work in Indian football because FIFA has strong transfer rules. If Bagan’s support declines, Indian football loses out.” Mr. Kapadia was quoted on IBNlive.com.
According to AIFF constitution, the General body is the supreme legislative body and has powers to overrule decisions taken by executive committee. In order to revoke their ban, Mohun Bagan should convince the ExCo to convene a special general body meeting as per the constitution. However, it may not be as easy since as per article 23 (A) of the constitution, a SGM can be called only if one third of the ExCo members make a request in writing.