FC Goa got a full waiver on the 15-point penalty going into ISL 3 and also had their fine reduced from Rs 11 crore to Rs 6 crore by ISL Appeals Commissioner Kshitij Vyas, a retired chief justice of the Bombay High Court, in his verdict issued in Mumbai on Friday. Vyas was the only member of the panel. Further good news for the franchise came from an All India Football Federation (AIFF) whose appeals committee reduced the Rs 50 lakh fine to Rs 5 lakh.
The ISL2 runners-up though will go into the competition this term with owners Shrinivas Dempo and Dattaraj Salgaocar exiting the franchise. The long bans on the owners were lifted since the incidents after ISL 2 final in Margao on December 20 last year was a first time offence, according to a media release from IMG-Reliance, who is part of the company that owns the league and the commercial partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Elano Blumer, the Chennaiyin FC marquee last term, too has submitted a regret letter, said a media release from Dempo and Salgaocar. It is now likely that the court proceedings against Blumer that was started following an FIR by FC Goa co-owner Salgaocar is likely to be settled amicably, sources in the league and the franchise said on Friday. Neither the ISL nor Salgaocar and Dempo, who issued a joint-statement, mentioned this though.
The R 11 crore financial punishment on the franchise has been reduced to Rs 6 crore which FC Goa have been instructed to pay league owners Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) and which, according to Vyas, should be utilised only for grassroots development. However, given that the league would owe FC Goa around R 11 crore through prize money and from the central revenue pool, it is possible the amount would be adjusted. The panel also waived off R 1 crore FC Goa had to pay to Chennaiyin FC legal expense.
A joint-statement from Salgaocar and Dempo said: “The developments post the finals on December 20, 2016 have caused deep distress to us, our families, the FC Goa team and Goans in general. We have received a copy of the statement of Elano Blumer of Chennaiyin FC conveying his regrets over his actions that occurred post match on December 20th. In the interest of our innumerable fans and the team, with great sadness we have taken the painful decision to exit from FC Goa.”
FC Goa had appealed to Vyas last May following the order of the ISL Disciplinary Committee which the franchise had termed “perverse, unlawful and in complete violation of principles of natural justice.” As one of the parties, FSDL too had appealed to Vyas seeking a reduction in the points’ penalty. The ISL Disciplinary Committee had said FC Goa should begin the third edition with a deduction of 15 points and had banned Salgaocar for three years and Dempo for two.
Following the final of ISL2 on December 20 in Margao which Chennaiyin FC won 3-2, FC Goa had skipped the prize distribution ceremony. Blumer had been involved in an altercation with FC Goa’s officials and co-owners while he had gone to the team’s dugout after the final. Following this, Salgaocar had filed an FIR against the former Brazil international based on which Blumer was detained at the Margao Police Station for nearly four hours before Chennaiyin FC then arranged for his bail.