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Goal.com looks at what could be the line of action for each of three parties involved…

With Vasco SC filing a suit in Goa against the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Shillong Lajong hoping that they shall get a berth in the I-League 2011-12 season.

Background: After Southern Samity raised a concern with the match commissioner against Shillong Lajong for fielding Seikhohao Tuboi, who was registered with three state associations and had also featured for Army XI earlier in the season, in the I-League second division. Thereafter the player was suspended following an internal enquiry. After Goal.com brought to forth the regulations which state that a team fielding an ineligible player must be scratched from the competition, Vasco took up the matter with the AIFF. The Players’ Status Committee met and stated that the player was at fault and not the club which was later ratified by the Executive Committee of the Indian FA.

Let us know look at the various arguments each of the three parties involved could make:

VASCO SC

Strong Points:

a) The AIFF suspended the player and thus acknowledged that he was ‘ineligible’.
b) Art IV of the I-League Second Division regulations clearly state that : ” Any team refusing to play or does not turn up for the match at the scheduled time or refuses to start or complete a match or fields an ineligible player shall be scratched from the competition. The match shall be forfeited and the opponents present at the venue shall be declared winners by a three (3)-goal difference and three (3) points shall be awarded to them. If the goal difference was higher at the time the match was abandoned for the team’s refusal to continue to play, that goal difference shall remain. The team may be further penalised by the AIFF Disciplinary Committee.”

Weak Points:

a) Vasco hadn’t lodged a protest nor had any club as that must be done at the start of the competition when all the players are registered.
b) They should have appealed and sought arbitration following the decision taken by the Players Status Committee and not wait for the Executive Committee to have ratified the judgment.

ALL INDIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION

Strong Points:

a) Whether AIFF is under the jurisdiction of the court in Goa, is a question which needs to be raised.
b) Vasco had signed an undertaking, like all clubs participating in n competition organised by the AIFF that they shall abide by the rules and decisions of the AIFF and various sub committees.

Weak Points:

a) They took an action on the player by suspending him and acknowledged that he was ineligible.
b) The action was taken without any official protest lodged which raises further questions as to why this was done.

SHILLONG LAJONG FC

Strong Points:

a) The confusion as to whether teams such as Services or Army XI to be deemed on par with other clubs in the country
b) Tuboi has a contract with the club valid until 2013
c) Their player was unjustly suspended during the I-League second division even though there wasn’t any official protest lodged.

Weak Point:

a) The fact that AIFF did suspend him makes the player ‘ineligible’ and the art IV of the second division regulations comes into picture.


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