Kolkata: The All India Football Federation disciplinary committee imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on reigning I-League champions Aizawl FC for crowd violence during their home match against Mohun Bagan on 25 January.
The five-member disciplinary committee headed by eminent lawyer Usha Nath Banerjee on Sunday found Aizawl FC "guilty" and asked the Mizoram club to submit the fine before their match against Indian Arrows on 23 February.
The AIFF also threatened to conduct matches "closed doors" if Aizawl did not undertake in writing that they will take responsibility for the safety, security and peace at the stadium.
"The committee has come to the decision that Aizawl FC be treated as guilty for spectator violence for the match between Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan," Banerjee told PTI.
"Considering the dimension, volume and size of the team, the quantum of the fine could have been extremely heavy. But considering the above factors the committee minimised the fine to Rs 3 lakh to be paid before their next schedule match (at home) on 23 February.
"The coach (Hmingthan Sanga) and assistant coach were warned that any recurrence in future of any indiscipline will be seriously dealt with severe penalty."
The match ended 1-1 draw and the disappointed home fans vented their ire out on the away side by hurling bottles.
Two days later, Mohun Bagan had lodged an official complaint.
"In view of the fact as could be verified and seen, the team manager of Aizawl found guilty of raising his fist addressed to the referee," he said.
"As because there was lack of evidence against the reported utterings of foul languages by the coach and assistant coach of Aizawl FC, the committee is not in a comfortable zone to impose any punishment or hold them guilty."
Besides Banerjee, the meeting was attended by Aditya Reddy, Krishnendu Banerjee while Harsh Vora joined by audio conferencing.
The AIFF has also revoked the red card suspension on Chennai City FC's Edwin Vanspaul in their match against Mohun Bagan in Coimbatore on 7 February.
"Edwin Vanspaul red card has been revoked. It was a mistake on the part of the referee (Akash Jackson Routh).
A day after last season's 'Golden Ball' winner Dipanda Dicka said he was yet to get the prize money, reigning champions Aizawl FC claimed the All India Football Federation owed them Rs 57 lakh towards outstanding dues since the 2015-16 season.
Aizawl demand Rs 57 lakh 'dues' from AIFF
Moments after the AIFF disciplinary committee held Aizawl FC guilty of crowd violence in their February 25 match against Mohun Bagan and imposed a fine or Rs 3 lakh, club president Robert Royte, who attended the meeting, attacked the parent body.
"The AIFF owes us Rs 57 lakh that includes runners-up prize money of the 2015-16 Federation Cup, some Man of the Matches awards and and travelling allowances," Royte told a news conference.
"As an owner and president of the club, I demand that the AIFF should also clear the pending dues. Then we will see how to pay the fine.
"Regarding the quantum and amount of the fine, I've to discuss with my colleagues whether we will go for an appeal or not. We have to follow the rules."
An AIFF official said all dues will be cleared by the end of the ongoing fiscal.
Royte, however, said they would give an undertaking to the AIFF that the club will be responsible for the safety, security and peace at the stadium so that there is no closed- door match in Aizawl.
"That will be done. I'm sure that improvement will be there from the government and club's side.
It's a big lesson for the fans of Aizawl.
"Let us hope the AIFF will agree for the new arrangement. Safety will be ensured for the visiting teams and fans and even for the home fans," he said.
Asked if they would pay the fine, he said: "Giving of penalty is another issue. We will think whether to appeal or not. I will have to discuss with my colleagues.
Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018 19:59 PM