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Century old Mohun Bagan banned from I-League

Club matches declared cancelled and consider null and void

Rajat Roy  |  Kolkata 

The iconic has been banned for two years from the I- League by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for abandoning the violence-marred derby match against East Bengal on December 9. The decision was taken by the Core Committee, which also declared all of club's matches in the "Competition 2012-2013 cancelled and considered null and void."

Hundreds of supporters were assembled at the club precinct when the of the reached there. The angry supporters welcomed the club secretary Anjan Mitra with slogans demanding his resignation. Later, Mitra told the newsmen that the executive committee of would meet tonight to discuss the development and decide on the steps to be taken. Indicating that would appeal before the AIFF against the ban, Mitra said that they would consult lawyers before taking any further steps.

Veteran footballer Samar Banerjee, who led Indian football team in Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and led for several years, said that it was a black day for him and for the football lovers of India. Baichung Bhutia, former and India team captain also expressed his sorrow.

The AIFF said in a statement that "the Core Committee of the AIFF received the detailed Report dated 26th December 2012 of the Hon'ble Justice A K Ganguly relating to Match No. 68 between Kingfisher East Bengal (KEB) and McDowell (MMB) played at Yuba Bharati Stadium, Salt Lake City Kolkata on 9 December 2012,"

"Justice Ganguly in his report has concluded that the decision of MMB 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 Regulation 2012-2013.

"The Core Committee endorsed the decision of Justice A K Ganguly that MMB was in breach of regulations and therefore in terms of regulation 22(c) the mandatory and automatic impositions on MMB (i) of being considered to have withdrawn from the Competition 2012-2013 (ii) to have all its matches in the Competition 2012-2013 cancelled and considered null and void (all points, goals scored and goal against being taken away); (iii) being disqualified from taking part in the next two (2) editions of the Competitions; (iv) to return to the any financial stipends that had been paid to it by throughout the Competition 2012-2013 or forfeit the right to the same, are hereby notified to have been imposed upon and effective with immediate effect," the statement said.

Founded in 1889, is the oldest in the country. It is the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield final, in 1911, beating the East Yorkshire Regiment. They have won the erstwhile National Football League (NFL) thrice -- in 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02 -- and their best performance in the re-christened has been a runners-up finish in 2008-09.

The core committee will meet January 9 to decide if the quantum of punishment imposed on is enough or if additional fine and suspension were needed.

First Published: Sat, December 29 2012. 18:57 IST