'Indian football fans are deeply hurt'

Mohun Bagan on Saturday termed AIFF’s suspension as “opposed to football policy” and “hurtful”, but said the club was yet to decide in which forum it would contest the ruling.

“We have received a 17-page order and we’re discussing about our next step... in which forum we shall take the matter,” Mohun Bagan general-secretary Anjan Mitra said after I-League core committee, based on the report of one-match committee of Justice AK Ganguly, suspended the club for the next two seasons for violation of rules.

Claiming that the decision was a step backward, Mitra said: “Indian football, fans and peace-loving people are deeply hurt by the judgement. It’s opposed to football policy and in no way can take Indian football forward. “I hope the AIFF rethinks on the decision and gives another judgement. AIFF should keep in mind that Indian football will go backward and not forward with the decision.”

Asked whether the club would release the players on demand, Mitra said: “For the time being, the players will continue to practice. We will see when the situation arises.
“I request fans to keep patience with the club and wait till the last,” he said.

Mitra also stood by the club’s decision to pull out after the interval against East Bengal on December 9 when medio Syed Rahim Nabi was injured following violence in the stands.

He said that the club did not want a repeat of the August 16, 1980 derby in the Eden Gardens when 40 people were killed. Meanwhile, hundreds of fans holding placards chanted slogans outside the club tent and blocked the Gostha Pal Sarani that connects Eden Gardens.

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