I-League clubs fined for Super Cup pullout

2016-17 champions Aizawl FC are unlikely to repeat that feat this year ESPN

The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Disciplinary Committee imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh each on five I-League clubs, including former champions Aizawl FC and Minerva Punjab FC, while East Bengal were told to pay Rs 5 lakh on Thursday, for pulling out of the Super Cup in March-April.

Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala FC and Neroca FC were the other three clubs fined Rs 10 lakh each.

The Committee did not give any decision against Mohun Bagan and referred the case for arbitration since the Kolkata side did not sign up for participation.

The Super Cup was severely depleted this season following the boycott by seven clubs -- Minerva Punjab FC, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, NEROCA FC, Gokulam Kerala FC and Aizawl FC.

"In default of payment by any club, the AIFF would be at liberty to consider disqualification of the clubs from participation in its next edition of competitions," the judgement said.

Also read

Minerva no-show latest chapter in Super Cup's fading relevance

What is the I-League-AIFF showdown all about?

The Disciplinary Committee consisting of Ushanath Banerjee (chairman), Harsh Vora, Adithya Reddy, Prateek Chadda and Dr Madhab Milan Ghosh had heard the rebel clubs on March 27 and 28.

On East Bengal, the Committee observed that the club intended to participate but the sponsors revolted to the decision.

"The club cannot be held guilty of indiscipline or misconduct. It is the sponsors of the club (Quess) who committed so and intended to jeopardise the integrity of the competition.

"The Committee felt that in order to reduce the humiliation upon East Bengal, quantum of fine should be less than the other clubs and imposed penalty of Rs 5 lakh."

The rebel clubs had sent a letter to the AIFF on February 18 requesting the president to address the various issues, including lack of clarity regarding the I-League's future.

Terming this subversive, the order said: "Sports bodies cannot be hijacked or held under any threat by a group of vested interested persons or the clubs. Neither the president nor any office bearer has any individual power or authority to do so."