New Delhi: Iconic Kolkata club Mohun Bagan have been found guilty in the Kolkata Derby issue, where they refused to play the second half of the I-League match against archrivals East Bengal following crowd trouble. They have been banned from the competition by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for two years with immediate effect.
Justice AK Ganguly, the one-member committee asked to investigate the incident, had submitted his report earlier in the week. The AIFF board met on Saturday, endorsing Ganguly's findings "that the decision of MMB (McDowell Mohun Bagan) for not playing the match after the interval cannot be supported on the grounds of Force Majeure and accordingly MMB has breached Regulation 22 of the I-League Regulation 2012-2013."
"The I-League Core Committee endorsed the decision of Justice AK Ganguly that MMB was in breach of I-League regulations," an AIFF release said after its meeting on Saturday.
As a result of the ban, Mohun Bagan will have all its matches in the I-League Competition 2012-2013 cancelled and considered null and void (all points, goals scored and goal against being taken away). They will be disqualified from taking part in the next two editions of the I-League and will have to return to the I-League any financial stipends that had been paid to it throughout the 2012-2013 season or forfeit the right to the same.
"Consequent to 'McDowell Mohun Bagan' being considered to have withdrawn from the I-League Competition 2012-2013 and having all its matches cancelled and considered null and void (all points, goals scored and goal against being taken away), the revised Fixture with re-structured Point Table will be published as soon as possible," the AIFF release added.
The violence-ridden Derby was played at the Yuba Bharati Stadium in Kolkata on December 9, in which one of the Bagan players, Syed Rahim Nabi, suffered serious head injury after being hit with an object hurled from the stands. Following the incident, Mohun Bagan refused to play the second half citing security concerns.