I-League clubs to face heat for skipping Super Cup
New Delhi, April 2: Seven I-League clubs who refused to participate in the ongoing Super Cup in Bhubaneswar are likely to face heavy sanctions when the league committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) meets on April 13.
According to Federation sources, all seven clubs — Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers, Aizawl FC, Minerva FC and Gokulam FC,NEROCA FC — could be asked to cough out money to compensate the loss incurred by the federation for their absence in the Super Cup.
The clubs refused to play the Super Cup demanding assurance from AIFF President Praful Patel of a meeting to discuss the future roadmap of Indian football. Once assured of a meeting in April, they did not return to the field to express solidarity with three clubs who had already forfeited their matches in the qualifiers.
“Six of the non-participating clubs registered players for Super Cup and then did not turn up. Mohun Bagan did not register footballers but that is hardly going to reduce their punishment. As per regulations, all clubs, who played in I-League, are bound to play all tournaments organised by the Federation,” said a senior AIFF official.
The Federation is planning to impose sanctions on the basis of the agreement signed by the clubs at the start of the I-League last year. The agreement 2 (A) said: “The club is desirous of participating in the Hero I-League for the season 2018-19 (‘competition’) being organised by the Authority, along with any other such competitions and/or tournaments the Club would be required to participate in and as may be added to the season schedule by the Authority.”
The agreement also makes it clear the word “Authority” is used while referring to AIFF.
Given the way things have turned out in the last few couple of weeks, the growing rift between the Federation and the I-League clubs could lead the league committee refer the matter relating to “boycott” of Super Cup to disciplinary committee by using the rule 10.4 of Super Cup regulations.
Rule 10.4 says: The Participating Club that withdraws from the competition after its commencement shall:
a) be required to pay compensation for any and all damages or losses suffered by, where applicable, the other participating club/s, the AIFF, the AIFF commercial right partners, licensees, broadcasters and the concerned Member Association.
b) be disqualified from taking part in next edition of the Competition from which it withdrew. The AIFF Executive Committee may extend the suspension depending on the gravity of the situation and/or impose further damages as deemed appropriate by it.
c) be referred to the AIFF Disciplinary Committee for determination of the compensation amount and additional sanctions. Depending upon the gravity of the offence, the case may be referred to the AIFF Executive Committee for final decision.
“All stakeholders in the Super Cup have incurred heavy loss due to sudden exit of seven I-League clubs at the last moment. It won’t be a surprise if the Disciplinary Committee, as per the recommendation of the League Committee, slaps heavy fine on the absent clubs to recover the financial loss,” said an official.
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