New Delhi: It is not just restricted to a few former stars but a certain section of the AIFF, too, is against the federation's decision to ban Mohun Bagan from the I-League for two years.
The iconic club had been banned for abandoning its I-League derby against East Bengal last December, citing security concerns. The I-League core committee of the AIFF endorsed the decision of Justice AK Ganguly.
In his report, the judge concluded that Mohun Bagan's decision not to play the second half could not be supported on the grounds of force majeure.
Mohun Bagan has been banned for abandoning its I-League derby against East Bengal last December, citing security concerns.
"The executive committee has no right to overturn the verdict of High Court judge. The question is how can you come to a conclusion on the basis of the report submitted by the judge. In my view, it's very unfair," said an AIFF official on condition of anonymity.
Mohun Bagan had appealed to the AIFF to review the suspension but the official said that the ban is set to stay - unless the I-League regulations are amended - as the federation is not entitled to overrule the decision.
"They can only do it if they amend the regulations. Otherwise, what Mohun Bagan can only expect is some leniency as far as imposing fines are concerned, the monetary aspect," another official added.
In his report, justice Ganguly has concluded that the team has breached clause 22 of the I-League regulation 2012-2013. Former Mohun Bagan and India players IM Vijayan and Shyam Thapa thought that AIFF should have been a little more lenient and should have taken the club's reputation into account while taking the decision.
"It's a shocking and sad news. Mohun Bagan has been a historical club. We cannot think of Indian football without Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
"They have always produced good football. We already don't have Mahindra United and JCT now without Mohun Bagan, the I-League will go poorer," Vijayan had said.
Mohun Bagan were a goal down against bitter rivals East Bengal on December 9, 2012 when a stone hurled from one of the stands occupied by Bagan supporters and apparently aimed at the referee hit the club's midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi.
The match resumed after a brief stoppage towards the end of the first half, but Mohun Bagan refused to take the field after the interval as India international Nabi, was treated for a fractured right jaw.