AIFF appoints retired SC judge to judge Bagan fate

The All India Football Federation has appointed Retd. Justice A K Ganguly, a former Supreme Court Judge, as an independent "one-man committee" to furnish a verdict on the legality of Mohun Bagan's actions.

Mohun Bagan's fate in the I-League hangs in balance with the AIFF yet to decide on a punishment for pulling out at the interval during their derby against East Bengal on December 9.

Ganguly has been appointed to "hold and undertake as expeditiously as possible, detailed evaluation of all aspects arising out of or related to the match, including the consequential resultant effect in consonance with applicable I-League regulations 2012-13".

According to the AIFF statement, Ganguly will be "giving directions accordingly and is expected to commence hearing on the subject issue from 24th December 2012 in New Delhi".

"AIFF and Mohun Bagan shall be given an opportunity to appear in the hearing through their respective authorised/legal representatives," it further said.

During the violence, Mohun Bagan's Syed Rahim Nabi got injured after he was hit by a stone. A day after, Nabi underwent surgery on the cheekbone, which ruled out the India midfielder for at least six weeks.

He was hit during the violence that erupted in the gallery after their highest paid striker and captain Okolie Odafa was red-carded for showing dissent.

The match was held up for about 15 minutes during the first half added time. Mohun Bagan, who were trailing 0-1, refused to turn up in the second half, forcing the match to be abandoned.

According to AIFF's Clause 22, if a team withdraws in the middle of a match, it stands to be suspended from the I-League for the current season and the following two seasons unless it is dubbed a force majeure.

The FIFA rule states that if a missile of any kind lands on the ground or if a player is injured, then a team has every right to walk off. However, in this case, Mohun Bagan played out the stoppage time in the first half after Nabi was hit.

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