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Unfazed by Bagan threat

The AIFF isn't making much of the club's intention to approach Fifa if they are banned.

sports Updated: Dec 11, 2012 23:53 IST
HT Correspondent

Pressured by East Bengal and at least another I-League club, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) spent Tuesday seeking legal opinion on whether the circumstances leading to Sunday's unfinished derby constitute a case of force majeure. A decision is expected by Thursday.

The AIFF has sought advice from Usha Nath Banerjee, a senior advocate and India's representative at FiFPro Asia an arm of the worldwide organisation for professional footballers. Amid all this Mohun Bagan trained on Tuesday for the first time since Sunday's unfinished I-League game against East Bengal. They play Bhowanipore in the Calcutta League on Wednesday.

After being quoted as saying that the AIFF will have to see whether there was any shortcoming on the part of the organisers and the police, president Praful Patel was briefed by federation officials who were present here on Sunday.

The issue that Banernjee has to consider is whether Mohun Bagan's claim of feeling insecure and not continuing is legally tenable. According to officials who spoke privately because they aren't authorised to speak to the media, the AIFF isn't making much of Mohun Bagan's threat of going to Fifa if they are banned. An AIFF official said Fifa would only interfere if there was a dispute regarding the laws of the game. The official said I-League rules were agreed and circulated in advance to all the teams. They can't be changed during a tournament and doing that would mean no regulation would hold.

On Tuesday, East Bengal wrote to AIFF stating if appropriate action isn't taken against Mohun Bagan , they wouldn't respect tournament rules and wouldn't be responsible for its consequences.