Mohun Bagan suspended from U18 I-League

Photo: I League
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Mohun Bagan gets suspended from this season’s U18 I-League.

Corruption in football is nothing new. From time immemorial there have been multiple scandals in world football of different dimensions.

India has also not been an exception to this. But when the name of one of the most heritage institutions in the country gets attached to the world called ‘Corruption’ then that becomes an eyebrow raiser for the whole football fraternity of the land.

Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, the 127-year-old giant of Indian Football has now come under the spotlight for age fudging! It all started back in 22nd November of last year between a match between Mohun Bagan Academy and Sports Authority of India (East Zone).

It was a match of the preliminary stages of U18 I-League, a tournament considered to be the laboratory for footballers in India. After the match SAI(EZ) management started to claim that one of the players played by the Mariners named Shuvankar Adhikary was over-aged and they even filed a complaint to the match commissioner Mr Bikash Bhattacharya.

SAI’s claim was that Adhikary was a former player of them and his age was much more than what Bagan was showing. The ball automatically went to the court of AIFF and investigation started. A team of the concerned authority went to Pandua in Hooghly district of West Bengal, the residence of Adhikary and gathered the necessary documents from the Block office.

Certificates were also collected from Baichigram Vidyapith, the school of the player under scrutiny. After an examination of all the relevant documents, it was found that Shuvankar’s DOB was 3rd September, 1994 while the rule states that any player born after 1st January 1998 will not be eligible to participate in this year’s U18 I-League. The allegations thus proved to a be a reality.

AIFF decided to take disciplinary action against Mohun Bagan for playing over-aged player in the U18 I-League and declared that they are banned from participating in the final stages of the U18 I-League this year. A fine of INR 1 lakh was also charged upon the Mariners. Shuvankar Adhikary has also been fined a sum of INR 20 thousand and banned from participating in any AIFF authorised tournament untill May this year as told by Mr. Sunanda Dhar, the CEO of I-League.

Mohun Bagan officials have taken a stand of ‘No comments’ on this saga while their arch rivals has not wasted any time in having a go at their rivals on this issue. East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar said,”We will never do such things to win trophies.”.

The news is that another team may get an wild card entry in the tournament to fill the void after Bagan’s suspension and United Sports Club of Kolkata is leading the race to be the new entrant in the junior I-League. Although the issue has been consciously subsided but the whole saga has really been a humiliation to the century old club.