I-League Clubs Who Boycotted Super Cup Slapped With Heftier Fine, U Mumba FC Put Trials on Hold
AIFF have now asked the I-League clubs - Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala FC, Minerva Punjab FC, NEROCA and Quess East Bengal - to pay Rs 37.5 lakhs as fine for boycotting the Super Cup.
I-League have been fighting for their survival in the Indian footballing scenario this season. (Photo Credit: AIFF)
New Delhi: All India Football Federation (AIFF) Disciplinary Committee has slapped the I-League clubs who boycotted the Hero Super Cup this year with a heftier fine after initially letting them off with a lesser amount.
Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala FC, Minerva Punjab FC, NEROCA and Quess East Bengal now have to pay a fine of Rs 37.5 lakhs to the parent body for pulling out of the Super Cup in the last moment.
Mohun Bagan have not yet been fined as their case is pending. Along with withdrawing from Super Cup, Mohun Bagan had not even registered their players due to which the matter was referred to Arbitration as per the provisions of the Participation Agreement.
Seven I-League clubs boycotted the Super Cup in order to coax the AIFF president Praful Patel to meet them. Eight I-League clubs had written a letter to AIFF in February expressing their concern over the future of the I-League and the interference of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), AIFF's marketing partner, into the running of the federation.
With the letter, the I-League clubs had requested for a meeting with Patel to discuss the matter further but the clubs received no reply from the federation.
This led to a mass boycott of Super Cup by seven clubs. Minerva Punjab, Gokulam Kerala FC, and Aizawl FC were supposed to play in the qualifying phase of the tournament but they did not take the field despite being at the venue.
Post the qualification boycott, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das assured the clubs that Patel will meet them in April. The clubs had then requested the federation to restart the Super Cup from the qualifiers so that the three clubs who didn't play earlier in boycott could start afresh. However, AIFF refused to do the same because of which none of the eight clubs played the tournament, except Chennai City FC.
On Monday, director and co-owner of Minerva Punjab FC took to Twitter to confirm the increase in fine and shamed the AIFF for "robbing". She also levied blame on FSDL and asked them to "focus on saving their own franchisees instead of sabotaging I-League."
Fine on United ILeague clubs increased to 37.5 lakhs per club, shame on them for robbing the poor man, who is bearly able to make ends meet (thanks to their ways) #FailingFSDL why don’t you focus on saving your own franchisees instead of sabotaging I-League?— Henna Singh (@Hennasing) June 16, 2019
Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj also told News18.com that he will looking to take a legal route against AIFF over the increase in fine and said "they want to kill us."
U MUMBA FC PUT I-LEAGUE TRIALS ON HOLD
U Mumba FC were set to hold trials from June 18-22 as they look to enter the I-League for the upcoming season but they were told by AIFF to put the trials on hold for the time being.
U Mumba FC, owned by Ronnie Screwvala, had submitted an official request to AIFF to participate in the next season of the I-League and even though AIFF have not given them a nod, they approved of the club holding trials.
However, on Sunday, U Mumba announced on their official instagram handle that "senior officials of the federation have asked U Mumba FC to hold on to the trials for the time being."
According to a Times of India report, the AIFF first wants to resolve the conflict between the ISL and the I-League before I-League aspirants go ahead with further planning.
The report also stated that U Mumba are only interested in fielding an I-League team even though they qualified for the second division by finishing first in Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division.
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