Atletico de Kolkata forward Baljit Sahni has been suspended for two matches for breaching the All India Football Federeation's (AIFF) Disciplinary Code. Sahni has also been fined Rs 5,00,000 for his offence.
The announcement came via an Indian Super League (ISL) media release on Thursday.
The statement read: "Baljit Sahni, Jersey No.6, player of Atletico de Kolkata has been suspended for next two matches of Hero Indian Super League and fined Rs 500,000 (Rupees Five Lakh only) for breach of All India Football Federation Disciplinary Code (Article 58) of Offensive Behavior and Fair Play during Match 5 played between FC Goa Vs Atletico de Kolkata on 7thOctober 2015 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda Goa."
During the match between FC Goa and Atletico de Kolkata on Wednesday, Sahni was involved in an ugly altercation with Gregory Arnolin. Sahni, in the heat of the moment, headbutted Arnolin and the referee made no mistake in showing the Indian a straight red card.
This incident reminded us of a similar one that happened during the first season of the ISL. Arnolin was again involved, with Firu Teferra, then of Atletico de Kolkata, headbutting the Goa defender. Fikru saw a red card as well for that offence.
Sahni was aware that Arnolin can get under the skin easily and the Atletico de Kolkata forward had to keep calm in such situations. The visitors were leading 1-0 at that point, and that unecessary red card left Atletico de Kolkata down to 10 men, with FC Goa eventually finding an equaliser.
Atletico de Kolkata will now have to do without Sahni, while they are also missing the services of Helder Postiga, who willbe sidelined for four weeks due to an injury.
Head coach Antonio Lopez Habas will be in some sort of a fix when they will face the upbeat Kerala Blasters in their next game at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata as he will have to field a team wihtout two of his major players. Although they will have the comfort of the home conditions, it will be a tough match for Atletico de Kolkata against Kerala Blasters.