A day after last season’s ‘Golden Ball’ winner Dipanda Dicka said he was yet to get the prize money, reigning champions Aizawl FC claimed the All India Football Federation owed them Rs 57 lakh towards outstanding dues since the 2015-16 season.
Moments after the AIFF disciplinary committee held Aizawl FC guilty of crowd violence in their February 25 match against Mohun Bagan and imposed a fine or Rs 3 lakh, club president Robert Royte, who attended the meeting, attacked the parent body.
“The AIFF owes us Rs 57 lakh that includes runners-up prize money of the 2015-16 Federation Cup, some Man of the Matches awards and travelling allowances,” Royte told a news conference. “As an owner and president of the club, I demand that the AIFF should also clear the pending dues. Then we will see how to pay the fine. Regarding the quantum and amount of the fine, I’ve to discuss with my colleagues whether we will go for an appeal or not. We have to follow the rules.”
An AIFF official said all dues will be cleared by the end of the ongoing fiscal. The five-member disciplinary committee headed by eminent lawyer Usha Nath Banerjee today found Aizawl FC “guilty” and asked the Mizoram club to submit the fine before their match against Indian Arrows on February 23. The AIFF also threatened to conduct matches “closed doors” if Aizawl did not undertake in writing that they will take responsibility for the safety, security and peace at the stadium.
Royte, however, said they would give an undertaking to the AIFF that the club will be responsible for the safety, security and peace at the stadium so that there is no closed-door match in Aizawl.
“That will be done. I’m sure that improvement will be there from the government and club’s side. It’s a big lesson for the fans of Aizawl. Let us hope the AIFF will agree for the new arrangement. Safety will be ensured for the visiting teams and fans and even for the home fans,” he said.
Asked if they would pay the fine, he said: “Giving of penalty is another issue. We will think whether to appeal or not. I will have to discuss with my colleagues.”