The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) disciplinary committee has imposed a fine of Rs. 27.5 lakh each on six I-League clubs, namely East Bengal, Aizawl FC, Gokulam Kerala FC, NEROCA FC, Churchill Brothers and Minerva Punjab FC for pulling out of the 2019 Super Cup.
The clubs who refused to take part in the competition after registering their players, except East Bengal, were initially fined INR 10 lakh each. The Kolkata giants were handed a fine of INR 5 lakh but the committee, on Saturday, has informed all six clubs of the total amount of money they have to pay in 15 days' time.
So, how can the AIFF Disciplinary Committee impose a fine of INR 27.5 lakh?
As the clubs pulled out after registering their squads for the Super Cup, they are to pay compensation according to the tournament regulations.
The Committee divided this compensation into two parts, one for damages suffered by AIFF and its commercial partner and the other for the clubs' misconduct.
According to Article 10 of the Super Cup regulations:
1) Clubs shall play in all competition matches once entered.
2) Clubs that withdraw prior to the start of the competition may be replaced by another team as decided by the AIFF.
3) If a club withdraws from the competition after it has commenced, or does not report for any of its matches, refuses to continue any of its matches at any stage or leaves the stadium prior to the completion of any of its matches, it shall be considered to have withdrawn from the competition.
The Committee, in its letter to the clubs, states that the tournament was considered as commenced when the fixtures were announced, ie, March 10, 2019.
4) The clubs will have their matches cancelled and considered null and void. All points and goals in those matches shall not be taken into consideration and shall be expunged from official records.
The six I-League clubs had registered their players for the tournament and pulled out after the tournament commenced, according to the committee's verdict, which means they violated Article 10 of the Super Cup regulations.
Also, if a team does not turn up for a match they will have to pay a fine of Rs.10,00,000 according to Article 220.127.116.11 of the regulations. This, in addition to the loss incurred by AIFF and FSDL, which was calculated to be 17,70,135 INR, was rounded to a total fine of 2750000 INR.