Mohun Bagan have been handed a lifeline by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Executive Committee as the two-year ban imposed on them by the I-League Core Committee was overturned.
The Mariners were considered having withdrawn from this edition of the I-League and were suspended for the following two seasons for having left the Kolkata derby on December 9, 2012 mid-way after their player, namely, Syed Rahim Nabi was struck by a missile from the stands.
The Kolkata club felt, unlike the referee who has the authority to decide, that the security at the Salt Lake Stadium wasn’t adequate enough and that any untoward incident in the second half would lead to further incidence of violence.
“Maybe our way of handling the situation on December 9 was wrong. But the important thing is that we have saved the lives of hundreds of people by refusing to play after the first half, revoked the ban, brought the game back to our footballers and moreover, made all Bagan supporters smile again,” Mitra was quoted saying in The Telegraph.
Given that Bagan now have 16 matches to play and start on a clean slate with zero point, their aim for the rest of the season is to somehow manage to avoid the drop.
“Our sole focus now is to ensure we beat the drop,” he stated.
While Mohun Bagan officials have been barred from being a part of any meeting with the AIFF or the I-League, Mitra mentioned that this wouldn’t hurt them in any ways.
“Most of the teams don’t attend the meeting related to I-League, which is held just once a year. In any case, we are part of the IPFCA (Indian Professional Football Clubs Association). So the members of this body will certainly get in touch with us,” he signed off.
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