Is the All India Football Federation's decision to revoke the I-League ban on Mohun Bagan a welcome move? Football analyst Novy Kapadia joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.
Q. This seems a good move. But will Bagan be able to play at its best or will this ban haunt their free playing style for a while and will it make them change team composition like reducing foreign players etc. Asked by: Narayan
A. No all the foreign players will get to play. Bagan will be stronger as they have come back from the death. Tolgy Ozbey will be fit and back and this will help them also. I hope they get back to football and forget the past. The I League needs Bagan.
Q. So, it was after all for money and not discipline of a team? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Yes, but I think the money was a compromise and Bagan officials suggested the fine. They have realised the lesson and I think will be more disciplined in the future. They have to caution Odafe and tell him top be more respectful to officials.
Q. The decision must have been of the team manager and Captain of Mohun Bagan. They go scot free for their act? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. The team manager spent all his time telephoning Anjan Mitra and Debashish Dutta who were not at the stadium and took the decision base don TV pix. he was guided by them. Bagan officials should be suspended for arrogance.
Q. If the same thing would have been done by ONGC or Salgaonkar or United Sikkim, would they have got the same treatment like Mohun Bagan got ? I don't think so. AIFF, as a parent body is expected to be impartial. To my view, they have failed in that. Asked by: Anjan
A. Yes, you are right but even in the World Cup referees decision sometimes favour Brazil, Spain, Germany etc, the crowd pulling teams. we have to realise that sports is now big business and the big clubs will always be favoured. ONGC does not have 100 supporters. I watched their matches in delhi except for family member sof players and media nobody comes. Same is with salgaocar who probably do not have more than a thousand supporters. So they cannot create crowd trouble. We have to be realistic. Big clubs are always favoured. Thats why the UEFA Champions league seeds top teams and takes the top three from all big countries to ensure Real madrid, barcelona man United and other splay even if they do win their League title.
Q. The incident was due to crowd provocation. What steps taken for recurrence of such incidents? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. That is my main concern. The debris on the ground. Why was it there? The stadium authorities, should have been punished. IFA should be censured for allowing the game to go ahead in such circumstances.
Q. MB supporters are openly telling that they would do whatever they feel and nobody can stop them. Don't you think it would have been right not to let them play atleast this season and allow them from the next Asked by: Anjan
A. Yes I do think that this pardon can be mis-interpreted and Bagan president Tutu basu can become a saviour and Godfather like figure who can do any and everything. It would have been better to let them start from the next season. There may not be relegation this year.
Q. Bhaichung commented that he is shocked to see the verdict. He expected the ban to reduce but the way it has happened has shocked everybody. EB alleges under table transaction. Whats your view? Asked by: Anjan
A. Not under the table transaction but a political decision by the AIFF. The large scale protests also helped. Also Praful Patel being a politician realised that public opinion was in favour of reducing the ban also the Bagan officials were now repentant and it god they have been banned for a year.
Q. The hefty fine of Rs.Two crores goes to coffers of the AIFF. What do they use it for? Spend it on as Prize money for best disciplined team in the league? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Good question. I think the AIFF has lots of expenses including salaries of staff at AIFF bhavan. I feel AIFF should use this money only for I-League.
Q. Being an East Bengal fan i think AIFF didnt do the right thing. Mohun Bagan must be punished,if not then any team can get away with a fine if they concede early goals. What is your opinion on that matter? Asked by: avishek
A. Yes technically you are right. But I think the AIFF ha smad eit clear that this will not be a precedent and this was a one-off case. Alsdo other clubs except the big two in kolkata do not have massive crowd support to cause crowd trouble
Q. MB was banned under section 22C. Under which section was the ban removed. Who amended the rule and when? Asked by: Anjan
A. The Executive committee of the AIFF has the right to review decisions. The initial ruling was too harsh. Praful patel being an astute politician realised the problems it could cause and so reversed the decision.
Q. The earlier decision on Ban was a hasty one? If not what new information came in for diluting the punishment? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. The decision of a long ban was very hasty. Public pressure led to dilution of the ban not new information. Sympathy for Mohun bagan in media reports, including my columns and pressure from TV channels led to the turn around by AIFF.
Q. I don't think the ban should have been lifted. Asked by: Sriraman
A. The ban could have been reduced. two and a half years was much too long. If they could not apply the ban do not take such hasty decisions. AIFF did not realise the scale of the protests and backed down because of that.
Q. Dear Novy, there is one thing that is common among all our federations: Pretend to be strict, but then Finally give into political pressure. I think our federations are direction less. Asked by: Sriraman
A. In this case, I think the AIFF took a wise and political decision. Without Mohun Bagan and East Bengal nobody watches Indian football. Maybe the initial punishment was too harsh. But as regards working of federations I agree with you they are direction less, no vision or limited vision of the future.