Mohun Bagan request AIFF to review decision to ban them - report

The Mariners have urged the parent body to review the punishment meted out to them by the I-League committee for violations in the second half of the December 9 Kolkata derby.
Mohun Bagan will be pulling out all the stops to coax the All India Football Federation (AIFF) into revoking the two-season ban imposed upon the club after the Mariners had not fielded a side during the second half of the infamous Kolkata Derby on December 9, 2012.

The issue was taken up in front of a retired Supreme Court judge who decided that the club had in fact violated I-League regulations and that their actions were not under the blanket of the 'Force Majeure' clause in the I-League charter. The federation barred the Green and Maroon from taking part in the I-League for the next two seasons in addition to declaring all of Bagan's matches in the ongoing season as null and void.

Mohun Bagan's Syed Rahim Nabi, who was injured during the Kolkata Derby, drafted in an emotional letter in which he stated that had he died during the game the club might not have been banned. The Kolkata giants hoped to use this letter along with an appeal as a case to convince the AIFF to reconsider the ban imposed upon the club.

Nabi had drafted an emotional letter after his club was banned from the I-League

Bagan sent a letter of appeal to federation President Praful Patel on Monday. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das confirmed the receipt of the letter to The Times of India. He also stated that the federation would seek legal advice before deciding upon the next course of action.

Though the contents of the letter were not disclosed, it is believed that the Mariners have regretted their decision to withdraw from the game before the second half started. Bagan had stated that they were fearful for the safety of their players after Nabi was struck by a missile from the crowd and did not want a repeat of the August 1980 episode where 16 fans lost their lives when a Kolkata Derby match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata turned ugly.

The Mariners' have also requested that the I-League Core Committee meeting which was to be held on January 9, 2013 be deferred till the AIFF dispose of their appeal.

However, fans of the club have called for the heads of the officials who took the decision to not field a team during the second half of the Derby. Hundreds of club supporters took out a silent candle-light procession from the Eden Gardens to the club gate, but were stopped from entering the Bagan tent by private security guards hired by the club authorities. Only members with valid membership cards were allowed in.

Mohun Bagan have found an unlikely ally in East Bengal who also wrote to the AIFF stating that any change in the I-League during the ongoing season can hurt the credibility of Indian football. However, they also commended the federation on remaining firm whilst taking the decision to ban Bagan despite calls for them to remain in the I-League.

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