The All India Football Federation (AIFF) slapped a ban on the former India midfielder using evidence that the federation refused to divulge to Dempo. This prompted the reigning champions to demand an explanation as to what evidence was crucial in getting the midfielder suspended given that there was no mention of any untoward incident in the referee's report which is ideally used as the prima facie testimony. Failure on the India FA's part to reply to this prompted Dempo to write a letter to I-League CEO Sunando Dhar seeking justice in this matter.
Dhar responded after Dempo's win against Air India, and expressed surprise and disappointment over the reactions of the club over the midfielder's suspension. According to the The Navhind Times, the Goans drafted another letter to Dhar stating that it was strange that their previous letter evoked a reaction that surprised and disappointed the I-League CEO.
"Codes and clauses are exhaustively quoted, for which we thank you, but no mention of the process you took in applying these," stated the letter signed by head coach and club secretary Armando Colaco.
Dempo SC added that a description of the evidence in hand, that was used by the AIFF as fodder in getting Climax banned, has still not been shared with them as cordiality and fair playwarrants. The I-League CEO had stated in his earlier letter that video footage would suffice in serving as evidence to decide the case. However the club stressed that they are yet to receive an acknowledgment from Dhar that it was that footage that formed the base for Climax's suspension.
|Dempo sent a letter signed by Armando Colaco to the I-League CEO|
The decision to suspend Climax was taken two weeks after Dempo had faced East Bengal and the Goan club made it categorically clear in their letter that they were not amused by the delay in the decision making considering that the match footage was the only evidence in helping Climax being banned.
"We respectfully but firmly disagree with your (Dhar) defence that your delay in the matter was reasonable. Timely action in such matters ought to be taken in a day or two at the most, not over two weeks later, especially if video footage and/or the referee/ commissioner’s report are the only bases," the Dempo argued in their letter.
On the subject of the delay in suspending Climax, Dempo have pointed out that the lapse meant that Climax played two further matches in the intervening period against Shillong Lajong and ONGC, which would otherwise have attracted the playing ban in question.
"You are certain to agree that your delay has defeated the very purpose of your sanction," the letter continued, adding: "We cannot but be reminded that our player, and thereby our team, is being singled out for disciplinary treatment on noting your silence on the instances of offensive player behaviour (Steven Dias and Beto of Churchill Brothers, Bhaichung Bhutia of United Sikkim, Penn Orji and Uga Okpara of East Bengal and the referee being cordoned off from Pune FC players) during this playing season quoted by us. Your endeavour to enforce discipline, while being a noble one, would gain merit and support if practiced uniformly across all clubs."
The letter further went on to clarify that they were not demanding special treatment for one of their players and that it only hoped for a faultless procedure in pronouncing a punishment for a player who has had a stellar career both at club and national level.
"In conclusion, may we respectfully hold out the hope that the I-League Department, going forward, takes every step subject to the totality of regulations governing its functioning in matters such as player disciplining," the letter summed up.
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