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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Pune District Football Association faces allegations of mismanagement, wrongdoing by 5 city football clubs

In December 2018, the five clubs - CMS Falcons, Strikers Football Club, Phoenix Sports Club, Fatima Sports Club and Jolly Range Hills, united again, to file a civil suit against the PDFA, seeking to prohibit it from holding its annual general body meeting.

pune Updated: Feb 13, 2019 16:44 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
Highlighted area shows the food expense of the Pune District Football Association.
Highlighted area shows the food expense of the Pune District Football Association.(HT PHOTO)
         

Football in Pune is offside, again. The Pune district football association (PDFA), the governing body for football in the city, has drawn the concerted and united ire of five football clubs in the city, who held a joint press conference on Tuesday, to accuse the body of ‘mismanagement’ and ‘wrongdoing’.

In December 2018, the five clubs - CMS Falcons, Strikers Football Club, Phoenix Sports Club, Fatima Sports Club and Jolly Range Hills, united again, to file a civil suit against the PDFA, seeking to prohibit it from holding its annual general body meeting (AGM). The meeting was called for December 8 and the clubs got the stay order on December 7 . The clubs claim a copy of the same was ‘tried to be delivered on the eighth morning at the PDFA office which was not accepted’.

On Tuesday afternoon, at Patrakar Bhavan, led by Shanup Nair, president of the CMS Falcons, Sohan Singh Sona (secretary, Strikers FC); Vijay Arland (secretary, Fatima FC); Milind Kulkarni (secretary Phoenix FC); and Fabian Bhramane (team manager, FC Shivneri), laid out in some detail the misgivings they had about the running of the PDFA.

Despite repeated phone calls, texts and emails, Vishwajeet Kadam, president, PDFA, did not respond to HT. Nair alleged the PDFA spent Rs 6,28,660 on food, but did not pay heed to requests for medical facilities to be provided for players at the various grounds in the city during tournaments conducted by the association. He said, “The audit report of 2017 states an expense of Rs 6,28,660 for food expenses.

For example, even if 500 people attended an awards night, which is not the case because only one representative is allowed per team and there are a total of 117 teams. If I have to divide Rs 6,28,660 by 500 it comes to Rs 1,257.32. The question is, how are they able to spend so much on an

awards night rather than the actual game?”

Nair then claimed the PDFA promoted 3 teams without informing the other teams about the rule changes “Last year they promoted 5 teams instead of 2, so we asked them for justification. What they told us was that the top two teams finished the group stage with 18 points and the other three teams, despite not qualifying for the knockouts also had the same number of points and thus qualified. This wasn’t told to us at the AGM earlier, it was clearly stated that only two teams were going to get promoted.”

#SavePuneFootball

In 2018, 100 club owners, secretaries and players, carried a #SavePuneFootball banner to an ISL game on November 4 between FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters. However, they were not allowed to enter the stands with police intervening.

When asked about the protest, Nair said, “FC Pune City called the police and told them to take five of our members to the station. It was a completely silent protest with no violence at all. What we wanted to do was to get our message across so that people do something to save the game in the city.”

First Published: Feb 13, 2019 16:33 IST