THE AIFF IS IRKED with ISL franchise Atletico de Kolkata over non-payment of fines to its Disciplinary Committee despite repeated reminders over more than 2 months.
In the second leg of ATK's ISL 2016 semi-final tie against Mumbai City at the Andheri Sports Complex, Juan Belencoso head-butted Leo Costa of MCFC, triggering a brawl that saw multiple players of both sides get involved.
On 18th December, the AIFF Disciplinary Committee decided to hand a 2 match suspension and hit with a fine, and ATK were handed a fine as well. The original deadline for the payment of the fine was 10 days, but according to a report by Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika, the sum has not been paid till date.
Members of the AIFF Disciplinary Committee have repeatedly notified ATK management about the matter via email. Even the ISL authorities have been notified by the federation's eminent body more than once. But due to the franchise being only active during ISL, its management has been dysfunctional ever since the private tournament ended. As a result, the emails and reminders have gone unheeded.
If an I-League club did something like this the AIFF Disciplinary Committee would have the power to relegate them to the lower division. But ISL not being a real league, that kind of punishment does not apply to its teams. So the chief disciplinary panel of Indian football finds itself in a situation where a major sports team can simply ignore its authority without facing any major reprisal.
This is yet another incident where ISL - which bypasses AIFF in almost every aspect of its operation and even has its own parallel disciplinary committee - has failed to fall in sync with the Indian football's governing system. It remains to be seen how AIFF handle the situation which has exposed their lack of authority over the IMG-Reliance-Star owned competition and left them red-faced by the cold shoulder from a franchise which is supposed to follow the Federation's rules.
The ultimatum sent from AIFF Disciplinary Committee has demanded that ATK pay up the fine with an added late fee by Thursday, 2nd March, which is today.