The Mariners drafted an appeal along with an emotional letter from midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi, who was injured during the Derby, to ask the AIFF to review the ban. As a result of this appeal, the I-League Core Committee meeting which was due to be held on January 9, 2013 was indefinitely postponed.
Now the Green and Maroon's case has received a shot in the arm after Dempo SC chairman and Goa Football Association (GFA) President Shrinivas Dempo commented on Thursday that the ban on the club was harsh.
"It is purely my personal feeling. I feel the ban is a little too harsh. I'm yet to be convinced otherwise and I am open to being convinced," Dempo told The Times of India at Dempo House, Goa.
"I felt a strong deterrent was needed for what Mohun Bagan did against East Bengal. The refusal to continue with the match amounts to indiscipline, but I'm given to understand that East Bengal was the home side and we need to look where the (security) lapses occurred," added Dempo, who was recently elected as the AIFF Vice-President from West Zone.
The 43-year old questioned the ban was too hard on a team that did not play the second-half owing to an injury to their player.
"The ban is effectively for four years since they will be out of this year's league, the next two years, and assuming they will play one year in the second division, it could be four years. That's too hard," said the Dempo SC chairman.
"It all depends how the AIFF Executive Committee looks at the issue. We could have a combination of a lesser punishment and monetary fine," added the AIFF Vice-President, who has confirmed he will attend his first meeting next week.
The Mariners have found support from many others who feel that the ban would not bode well for Indian football which is already a sorry tale in itself.
"As a lover of football, it would be a shame to not have Mohun Bagan in the national league for the next two years, but that's from a football lovers perspective. However, there are certain rules that may have been broken and if found to be true, someone in the club has to pay for it. I don't know if the club or some people have to be held accountable for that fiasco," AIFF vice-president and Shillong Lajong FC General Secretary Larsing Ming was quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with Goal.com
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