As the Indian FA handed Mohun Bagan an opportunity to start afresh, Goal.com spoke to a few fans from Kolkata to seek their view on the same...The All India Football Federation (AIFF) reversed its stance as they revoked the 2-year ban on Mohun Bagan and instead gave them a monetary punishment other than the fact that they will now play their remaining 16 matches starting from the scratch. The fans in the City of Joy have varied standpoint on the decision as we spoke to some of them.
Ranadeep Daw (Mohun Bagan fan): I whole-heartedly support the AIFF’s decision. I was opining from the first day that the suspension is too strict a punishment for the mistake Mohun Bagan did. Yes, their act of not fielding the team in the second half was against the spirit of the game. But one should also take into consideration the atmosphere of the stadium. Syed Rahim Nabi was injured and the refereeing was terrible that day. Now the decision has a fair share of both obliging the rules and the common sense being applied. Hope this teaches all the club officials a lesson about how strict the AIFF can
Sayan Roy (Mohun Bagan fan): In none of the top leagues we have ever seen any team being kicked out completely. In many serious cases like match-fixing, there were punishments ranging from fines to point deductions. It can now be said that the AIFF has got its thinking straight. After all, a supporter-based football club like Bagan is the lifeline of Indian football. The sponsors come in for the fans only. Also, a National club like Mohun Bagan is also an integral part of the culture of Kolkata. So, this decision of the federation will help to retain the charm of Indian football and also give other clubs a strong message that the I-League is a serious product.
Debojyoti Dutta (Mohun Bagan fan): Even the infamous “Calciopoli scandal” did not result in a two year ban for the convicted side. Now the AIFF has taken the right decision by allowing Bagan to play the remaining matches. Indian football has already hit an all-time low with fans waning every single day. In such a condition, exclusion of an outfit like Mohun Bagan, which has arguably the largest fan base among the Indian clubs, would have acted like the last nail in the coffin. Now with the current status, the main aim of our club will be to avoid relegation. I hope that the team will bounce back well from this humiliation.
Debangan Dey (East Bengal fan): I strongly second the allegation made by East Bengal that there was an under-table settlement between the AIFF and Mohun Bagan. This decision puts a big question mark over the honesty of the federation. When decisions can be reversed with the help of power and money, a pandemonium is destined to rule in future. I wonder whether the federation would have done the same thing if the convict was a small team like Mumbai FC or ONGC. The decision should have never taken into account the weight of the alleged team. This will only result in the I-League losing its credibility.
Anindya Roy (East Bengal fan): This is a black day for Indian football. Now, any team can take advantage of these rules. Apart from the point deduction, the condition became better for Bagan as Tolgay Ozbey, their star striker and Syed Rahim Nabi, the one injured in the derby, are both fit now. The team also got a break in the tight schedule. Though I personally didn't want that our favourite rivals get to serve a two year long ban, this kind of a stance reversal only proves the AIFF to be spineless. Had Mohun Bagan been suspended for this season, a strong message would have been sent to other club officials, who would never ever dare to repeat Bagan’s decision.
Arijit Sil(East Bengal fan): It is not a new fact that the AIFF is largely influenced by politicians. These are the drawbacks of the system. You should expect these role-reversals if you place a politician at the helm. I never expected a better decision than this from these kinds of non-technical people. These incidents justify why we are even behind the 160 mark in the FIFA rankings. This decision only epitomizes the system that needs to be immediately changed.
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