‘Odafa was aggressive’
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) rejected Okolie Odafa’s request for copies of the match commissioner, the referee and the inquiry commission’s reports but the Mohun Bagan captain stuck to the Monday deadline in replying to the showcause notice, HT reports.sports Updated: Jan 08, 2013 01:36 IST
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) rejected Okolie Odafa’s request for copies of the match commissioner, the referee and the inquiry commission’s reports but the Mohun Bagan captain stuck to the Monday deadline in replying to the showcause notice.
The AIFF may also call Odafa for a hearing at a meeting of the I-League Disciplinary Committee at a yet undecided date.
Last Monday, the AIFF asked Odafa to explain why further action shouldn’t be taken against him after he was shown the red card in the abandoned I-League match between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on December 9, 2012. The normal punishment for a red card is a one-match ban but given the circumstances leading Odafa’s expulsion, the AIFF could impose significantly harsher penalty.Accessed by HT, the reports Odafa had sought mention his aggressive behaviour leading to the sending-off after which missiles were thrown on the ground.
Referee Vishnu Chauhan even accuses Odafa of poking into his eyes and pushing him. Match commissioner Gulab Chauhan too has written that Odafa pushed the referee. However, those present at the Salt Lake stadium that afternoon couldn’t independently confirm this and available video evidence too didn’t corroborate the claim of the referee being attacked. In his reply, Odafa has denied this charge, it was learnt.
The referee also mentions that Odafa rushed towards him and used abusive language.
Retired Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, the one-man inquiry commission appointed by the AIFF, says in his report that “from the video recording it appears that Odafa was very aggressively saying something to the referee.”
Ganguly describes Odafa’s manner as “intimidating” and points out that the Mohun Bagan player wasn’t “tackled in the incident.”
Based on video evidence Ganguly though states that Odafa might not have “physically assaulted or pushed the referee.”
All Mohun Bagan players and the coaching staff signed an appeal to the AIFF requesting it to remove the ban and let footballers do what they do best, play the sport.