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The Mariners appealed to the Indian FA after it was handed a two-season ban from the I-League after infractions during the Kolkata Derby...

In what is seen as more bad news for Mohun Bagan, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is unsure whether the Executive Committee has the power to grant a reprieve to the Mariners after they were banned from participating in the I-League for two seasons after they were found guilty of violating I-League rules during the ill-tempered Kolkata Derby on December 9, 2012.

The Green and Maroon had drafted a letter of appeal to the AIFF asking them to reconsider the ban which resulted in the I-League Core Committee meeting, due to be held on January 9, 2013, to be postponed to a later date.

"We have received the letter of appeal from Bagan, which will be taken up in our next Executive Meeting," said a senior AIFF official to The Telegraph. "However, we don’t know whether the Executive Committee has the power to lift or reduce the suspension order imposed as per regulations," the official added.

The official indicated that Bagan could however be fined heavily for failing to turn up during the second half of the Kolkata Derby.


The Mariners may have to uphold their ban despite the appeal


"According to rules, Mohun Bagan could be asked to return any financial stipend that had been paid to them by the I-League," the official said. The fine, which is currently being calculated, could also cover the expenses incurred by the AIFF on Bagan’s travel allowances during the ongoing I-League.

An issue which is running in parallel to the Mohun Bagan suspension is the case of the showcause notice issued to the club's striker Odafa Okolie who was sent off during the Kolkata Derby for aggressive behaviour towards the referee Vishnu Chauhan. The striker was given time till January 7, 2013, to explain why further action, apart from the norm of automatic suspension, must not be taken on him. What is bewildering is that the notice was issued almost a month after the Derby.

However, the AIFF could argue that similar lines were adopted before players from East Bengal, Prayag United Sports Club and Dempo SC were suspended in the ongoing league. The instance of the delayed suspension meted out to Dempo midfielder Climax Lawrence for alleged misbehaviour towards the referee during the East Bengal-Dempo match is an example of this.

Sources said it could be difficult for the federation to impose bigger punishment on the Nigerian, as he was not the culprit of any violent behaviour. There is also no video evidence to prove that he incited the crowd during the match.

Meanwhile, in Calcutta, Syed Rahim Nabi, who was hit by a brick during the I-League Derby on December 9, resumed practice, at the Mohun Bagan ground, on Wednesday.

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