Defending champions Aizawl FC were on Sunday fined Rs three lakh by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) disciplinary committee for crowd violence during their home match against Mohun Bagan on January 25.
"After considering and evaluating all the aspects and hearing the president of AFC (Robert Royte), who was present, 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, played at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on January 25, 2018," the AIFF said in a statement.
"In view of the fact as could be verified and seen, the team manager of AFC Hmingthan Sanga found guilty of raising his fist addressed to the referee. 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," the statement added.
"Based on this, Aizawl FC have been imposed with a fine of INR 3 lakhs. Taking into account its dimension, size and volume of finance which they have, the fine could have been much more. Considering the nature and functioning of Aizawl FC, the committee sympathetically reduced the fine. It has also been done because the President of Aizawl FC clearly and specifically admitted in a very candid way that there was a total wrong on the part of the spectators, they could not have reacted in a violent way and the referee's decision is always final and it should have been respected by everyone."
The fine comes with a specific direction. Aizawl will have to ensure complete safety and security at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium for the next matches.
This includes ensuring closed enclosures for spectators and appropriate police arrangements to the satisfaction of the AIFF at least 48 hours prior to the next match on February 23.
They will have to give an undertaking in writing to the AIFF stating that they will be responsible for security and peace at the stadium. If there is any default, the AIFF has been instructed to hold the next or any other subsequent match behind closed doors.
"The team manager has been imposed with a four-match suspension with immediate effect including a stadium ban. The fine has to be submitted before the next match," the AIFF statement said.
On being asked if Aizawl FC will appeal against the AIFF's decision, club president Robert Royte replied: "Maybe, there are a lot of people associated with the club so I need to consult them first before appealing."
The match, played in Aizawl, had finished 1-1, with irate home fans venting their ire on the away side by hurling bottles and two days later, Mohun Bagan had lodged an official complaint.
The AIFF has also revoked the suspension of Chennai City FC's Edwin Vanspaul who was mistakenly given a red card by referee Akash Jackson Routh at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Coimbatore during a match against Mohun Bagan.
"Edwin Vanspaul red card has been revoked - It was a mistake on the part of the referee, therefore we have revoked that suspension," Banerjee said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)