Mohun Bagan got an interim stay order from a city civil court here on the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) notice to suspend their I-League match against Pailan Arrows on Saturday pending the outcome of Sunday's abandoned derby. Both the AIFF letter and the club's moving court happened on Wednesday.
The AIFF said it is awaiting a copy of the order before reacting. "We will consult our legal firm once we get the order," said Sunando Dhar, the I-League CEO, speaking over the phone from New Delhi. Dhar said AIFF president Praful Patel has been told about this development.
On an ex-parte petition by Mohun Bagan, city civil court seventh judge Sandip Chaudhury restrained AIFF from taking any decision without giving the club a hearing. The next date has been set for January 11.
Mohun Bagan filed a case against Dhar after the AIFF deferred "till further notice" their 11th round I-League match. A release from the AIFF said the decision was taken because "the status and necessary actions arising under the I-League Regulations" regarding Sunday's match against East Bengal is "under consideration."
The AIFF has asked two retired judges for advice on whether the abandoned derby could be a case of force majeure. Since the judges' feedback isn't expected before the weekend, the AIFF had called off Saturday's game. All this happened on a day Mohun Bagan returned to the Salt Lake stadium and won their first match under new coach Karim Bencherifa, a 2-1 win in the Calcutta League against Bhowanipore and Mohun Bagan.
Okolie Odafa, whose red card led to the chaos on Sunday, scored from the penalty and Stanley Okorogiwe got the matchwinner. Between the goals, Bhowanipore's Sanju Kumar struck and it looked like he had used his right hand to do that.
Beyond a muted show of protest, there was no sign of dissent from the team that had vehemently contested referee Vishnu Chauhan's decisions against East Bengal. Some Mohun Bagan officials though did argue with referee Probir Dhar at half-time. Match commissioner Gopinath Pyne is likely to mention that in his report.