Mohun Bagan were wrong to walk out - Subrata Bhattacharya

The former Mohun Bagan player Subrata Bhattacharya expresses his views on the 2-year ban imposed on the Kolkata giants by the Indian FA.
29th December, 2012 will be remembered as one of the significant days in the history of Indian football. One of India's most prestigious clubs, Mohun Bagan, had been banned by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on the grounds of breaching Clause 22 of the I League charter.

Bagan, who played their arch rivals East Bengal earlier this month, walked out of the derby as the atmosphere inside the Yuba Bharati Stadium turned violent. The injury to their midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi forced this decision to be taken by the Mohun Bagan officials. However, retired Supreme Court justice A.K Ganguly, who was appointed by the AIFF to help them decide whether the Mariners' actions were under the blanket of the 'Force Majeure' clause in the I-League charter, decided otherwise.

Given that the Green and Maroon were guilty of breaching I-League rules, the Core Committee decided to hand out a two-year ban from the I-League and being forced to withdraw from participating in the ongoing season.

In an exclusive interview with Mohun Bagan legend Subrata Bhattacharya with, he expressed his surprise over the decision taken by the AIFF.

"It is quite shocking", said Subrata when asked about the current situation. "A team like Mohun Bagan should not be suspended. It has never been suspended and it's the first time. It is unfortunate and undesirable." He further added, "I do not know the exact law but I am sure that the AIFF have maintained the law and there must be something wrong which the Bagan officials have done. But that can be excused sometimes. The whole team is shocked and so am I."

The former Indian international thinks it was wrong on the officials' part to ask the team to refrain from participating in the second half. "Absolutely wrong", he imposed. "They should have played and not ignored the match. I think the Bagan officials should have considered the dignity and popularity of this great club and should have acted wisely."

Subrata, who has taken part in 78 first class tournaments, greatly condemned the fans for their behaviour, but believes the team should have gone out to play regardless of the situation. "What the fans did was unacceptable. It is undesirable for the game, but these things happen in the Kolkata Derby. That should not mean you walk out," said Subrata.

"They should definitely appeal to the AIFF and pray," said Subrata when asked about what the club's future course of action should be. "It is a 'slap' to the club's face. However, a club as great as Mohun Bagan should not be suspended."

On being asked what lies ahead for the Mohun Bagan players and the team, Subrata responded, "I do not have any idea as I am nothing more than a member. The answer will probably be known on January 9th when the committee will reconvene to give its final decision."

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