Reigning I-League champions Aizawl FC have been fined INR 3 Lakhs by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for spectator violence on January 25 in their match against Mohun Bagan at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw in Aizawl after Manandeep Singh’s spot-kick cancelled out Lathathanga Khawlhring’s goal. After the game, the disappointed home crowd vented their anger out on the away side by hurling bottles.
Mohun Bagan had lodged an official complaint on January 27 on this matter with the Indian FA and they have finally come to a conclusion.
The Chairman of AIFF Disciplinary committee, Usha Nath Banerjee issued the following statement:
“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. It has also been done because the President of Aizawl FC clearly and specifically admitted in a very candid way that there was a total wrong on the part of the spectators, they could not have reacted in a violent way and the referee's decision is always final and it should have been respected by everyone.
The fine comes with a specific direction, they will have to ensure complete safety and security at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium for next matches, including ensuring closed enclosures of the spectators, appropriate police arrangements to the satisfaction of the AIFF at least 48 hours prior to the next match (23 Feb). They will have to give an undertaking in writing to the AIFF stating that they will be retorted responsible for the safety, security and peace at the stadium. If there be any default, the AIFF has been instructed to hold the next or any other subsequent match behind closed doors. 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.”
On asked if Aizawl FC would appeal against AIFF's decision, club president Robert Royte replied, “Maybe, there are a lot of people associated with the club so I need to consult them first before appealing.”
When asked about the fine, Robert Royte said, “The AIFF owes us INR 57 Lakhs. These monies even 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.”
The AIFF has also revoked the red card suspension on Chennai City FC’s Edwin Vanspaul who was mistakenly given a red card by referee Akash Jackson Routh at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Coimbatore against Mohun Bagan.
On the red card issue, Banerjee said, “Edwin Vanspaul red card has been revoked - It was a mistake on the part of the referee, therefore we have revoked that suspension.”