Mohun Bagan have been handed a reprieve by the All India Football Federation, as their ban fromthe 2012-13 and the subsequent two I-League seasons has been reduced to a monetary fine of Rs 2 crore.
The Mariners however will have to start proceedings for this season with zero points on their tally from the games so far, meaning the side will have to hit the ground running, if they are to avoid relegation.
The AIFF had earlier slapped Mohun Bagan with a 2 year I-League ban apart from withdrawing them from this season’s competition, due to them abandoning a violence marred Kolkata derby against East Bengal on December 9th.
The verdict had led to wide ranging protests, with clubs and former players asking for a review of the decision. Goal.com too had expressed its views in an editorial, stating that while Mohun Bagan had been punished in accordance to the rule-book, the rules themselves lacked common sense.
It had led to a visible softening in the stand of the national football association on Monday, with AIFF Secretary General Kushal Das being quoted as saying, “Football is governed by a set of rules. Some time rules can be harsh. The executive committee has been given the powers to look into the decision. Obviously we will look into them.”
"This is the first time that such an incident has happened. Now we have a case where a club cannot play top-flight football for four years and also we want more corporate teams in the I-League. So, somewhere there is a disconnect," he had further added.
Today’s verdict came after Mohun Bagan were allowed to put forth their case regarding the suspension and fine imposed on them.
However club officials like Anjan Mitra and Debashish Dutta might not be dealt with so leniently, while Odafa Okolie might also face a suspension.
The Mariners officials, Swapan Bose and Anjan Mitra later issued a press release, thanking everyone related to the club for their efforts in overcoming this issue.
The press release mentioned, "We take this opportunity to thank all our Members, Supporters, ex-players and present players and coaches and all our well-wishers, who stood by our Club in overcoming this crisis."
Mohun Bagan will resume their league campaign with zero points to their name and will play out all of their remaining fixtures following their encounter with East Bengal.
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