The All India Football Federation (AIFF) acted by the book in their decision to suspend Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen for the next eight games of the club, or more precisely, the remainder of the I-League 2016 season.
The Indian coach was slapped the harsh penalty by the football governing body of India, Thursday, for an incident that took place in January. Sen used the words "sold out" referring to the AIFF, and he paid a hefty price for it.
He is not only suspended for the next eight matches of the defending I-League champions, but he was also fined Rs 10 Lakh, according to Article 58 of the AIFF Disciplinary Code.
The AIFF mentioned the comments by Sen were "derogatory" but the fans of the Mariners opined that the punishment slapped on the I-League winning coach was even way too harsh.
A group of Mohun Bagan fans in Delhi, termed as "Delhi Mariners", visited the All India Football Federation HQ in the national capital, Friday, with a signed petition questioning the decision of the governing body on Sen.
"Mohun Bagan fans from around the country signed an online petition questioning the AIFF's move and some of the members from Delhi Mariners, with the permission of Delhi Police, wanted to meet I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das to discuss the issue," Tuhin, founding member of 'Mariners @ Bangalore', spoke exclusively to International Business Times, India.
"However, we were not allowed to meet."
Tuhin explained coaches from other clubs get away scot free everytime for their comments on the AIFF. But yet, the AIFF do not bother taking action against.
When asked about the plans ahead now since the Mohun Bagan fans have not been allowed to enter the AIFF HQ, Tuhin said: "On March 13, there will be a group of as many as 5000 supporters donning the masks of Sanjoy Sen at the Barasat Stadium and it will be a sign of support as well as a protest against AIFF's decision.
"East Bengal fans are also with us," he added to IBTimes India.
Mohun Bagan take on Mumbai FC on March 13 in a home game. Assistant coach Shankarlal Chakroborty will be on the sidelines for the upcoming I-League matches for the Kolkata side. "I am ready for it. I have not talked to Sanjoy (Sen) Da yet, but we will definitely talk later in the day," Chakroborty told Goal.
Sen's suspension will not come into effect during Mohun Bagan's matches in the AFC Cup 2016, however.
Article 58 of the AIFF Disciplinary Code:
"Anyone who insults someone in anyway, especially by using offensive gestures or language, will be sanctioned with a match suspension. If the perpetrator is a player, he will be suspended for at least two (2) matches; if he is an official, he will be suspended for at least four (4) matches.
"If the victim of the attack is the AIFF itself or one of its bodies, the duration of the suspension will be doubled (+100%); the sanction applies to all official matches. A minimum fine of Rs. 5,00,000/- shall be pronounced."