The All India Football Federation (AIFF) banned Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen for eight games with immediate effect on Thursday and fined him R10 lakh for making “derogatory statements” against the federation.
The ban, one of the harshest from the AIFF, means Sen could miss the rest of the I-League where defending champions Mohun Bagan are on top of the standings with 22 points from 10 games. Mohun Bagan have six games remaining in the league.
The ban is only for AIFF competitions meaning Sen could be on the touchline for Mohun Bagan’s AFC Cup games.
“Mr. Sanjoy Sen, Head Coach, Mohun Bagan, is charged for making derogatory statements against AIFF. Sanjoy Sen, is suspended for 8 (eight) matches & a fine of Rs. 10 Lakhs is imposed on him as provided in Article 58 of the AIFF Disciplinary Code,” according to the media release.
Article 58 pertains to offensive behaviour and fair play. The minimum ban “when the victim of the attack is the AIFF itself” is eight games. The minimum fine is R 5 lakh.
No official reaction was available from Mohun Bagan on Thursday evening but it is likely that Sen will appeal. He has three days to inform the AIFF of the intention to do that and a week to file the appeal along with R 60,000.
Sen had criticised the AIFF after Mohun Bagan beat Tampines Rovers 3-1 here on January 27 to become the first Indian team to win a match in the new qualifying format of the Asian Champions League.
Told that Mohun Bagan would have to play the I-League match against DSK Shivajians in Pune on January 30 before going to China for the second qualifying round against Shandong Luneng Taishan on February 1, Sen pointed out at the after-match media conference that this is how football in India is run. Without elaborating, Sen also said that he felt the AIFF had been “sold out.”
The AIFF issued Sen a showcause notice on February 3 and in his reply 10 days later, the coach apologised saying the comments were made in the heat of the moment.
In 2012-13 if the AIFF had followed rules, Mohun Bagan would have been banned for two years from the I-League for refusing to play the second half against East Bengal on December 9, 2012. Instead, the AIFF fined Mohun Bagan R 2 crore, deducted all points earned in the first phase but let it stay in the competition.
One day before it hears FC Goa’s submission for alleged misdemeanours after the ISL2 final in Margao, the AIFF Disciplinary Committee has acted tough but the final word on Sen may not have been heard yet.
The committee also fined Shillong Lajong goalkeepers’ coach Gumpe Rime for four games and fined him R 30,000 for “for the use of abusive language against the referees’ decision.”