AIFF to tread cautiously on Mohun Bagan issue: Praful Patel
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said Tuesday that the national body will tread cautiously before slapping a two-year ban on top I-League club Mohun Bagan.
"We have taken a serious note of it. But we will not make a hasty decision as there could be long-term implications. Whatever has happened, will surely have a bad impact on football," Patel said.
Patel has sought legal opinion on slapping a two-year ban on Mohun Bagan for abandoning Sunday's I-League Kolkata derby against East Bengal mid-way after their key player, Syed Rahim Nabi was injured. Nabi was injured after being being hit by a stone on his face from the crowd.
According to AIFF constitution's Clause 22, Mohun Bagan stands banned for two years.
Though AIFF wants to go by the rule book but is also aware of the fact that if banned. Mohun Bagan will move court seeking Force Majeure. But the federation doesn't want other clubs to cite the example of Force Majeure in the future.
The AIFF doesn't want to keep any loose ends before taking the strong step. Patel had a series of discussions with senior officials Monday and Tuesday.
Patel said that AIFF will take reports from all stake holders before taking the decision.
"There will be proper hearing and we will try and get full information from all possible quarters possible before arriving at a decision. We will take police reports, our local sources' reports, media coverage reports and will also talk to players, match commissioner and the referees.
"It's a very serious issue and can have a bad impact on football. These things should not happen in a city like Kolkata where big matches are held regularly. This incident will definitely raise a question mark. But we can assure that we will not be bias towards anybody. We will look to take the right decision," he said.
"The local spectators always get excited because Mohun Bagan-East Bengal match has always been a big one and has an identity of its own. It's a question of law and order and security of the players. It's the local police and the local organiser's decision," he added.
I-League chief executive Sunando Dhar told IANS that the AIFF will go by the rule book.
"The rule book is same for all the clubs," said Dhar.
Mohun Bagan's fate will be known in a couple of days because their next I-League match is against Pailan Arrows, Saturday.