Gokulam Kerala FC president VC Praveen has expressed his disappointment on AIFF’s decision to impose a fine of Rs 10 lakh each on the five I League clubs by asking why AIFF imposed different penalties for the same offence. Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj had also slammed AIFF’s decision yesterday.
Five I League clubs - Aizawl FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala FC and NEROCA FC were handed a fine of Rs 10 lakh each by the disciplinary committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as a consequence of their decision to boycott the Super Cup in March-April. Two other clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan had also decided not to play in the AIFF knock-out tournament in Bhubaneswar but as per the statement released by the AIFF yesterday, East Bengal was fined only 5 lakh rupees, as their sponsors – Quess – decided to pull out and not the club while Mohun Bagan was not fined as they “had not registered their players” and had “withdrawn” from the competition. However, the statement had added, “the matter will be referred to Arbitration as per the provisions of the Participation Agreement.”
Meanwhile, the other clubs are not happy with the AIFF’s orders. After Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj’s reaction yesterday, Gokulam Kerala FC’s president VC Praveen has also lashed out the decision by the committee and the imposition of different punishments to different clubs for the same issue.
“It is very bad on AIFF’s part to impose a fine on us. Our reasons were genuine and not only one club, but there were around eight clubs who protested for this. We had given AIFF enough time to respond and arrange a meeting for us or at least tell a date. But, after that AIFF is imposing such a penalty on us. And again, Why different penalties for different clubs for the same offence,” Praveen told SportsCafe.
Praveen also mentioned that the teams had travelled to Bhubaneswar for the tournament and had spent money from their pockets as well. He also highlighted the fact that the I League clubs don’t get a subsidy to participate in the Super Cup. In the end, the Gokulam president also echoed the statement of Minerva Punjab owner Bajaj saying that they will appeal to the AIFF against the imposition of the fine.
“Our teams were already present there before. To participate in the Super Cup, we don’t have a subsidy or travel expenditure by the AIFF,” the Gokulam president explained.
“We have to appeal to the AIFF only. There is no clarity regarding the future of the I League and the clubs are concerned regarding the road map.”