AIFF may form a panel

New Delhi: Taken aback by Mohun Bagan's decision to move court, All India Football Federation (AIFF), on Thursday, prepared itself to solve the problem in a manner that could be accepted to all concerned parties, including the club.

Sources said though the AIFF stuck to its decision to defer the Saturday's Mohun Bagan vs Pailan Arrows match, it is expected to approach the Calcutta High Court early next week.

Thankfully, for the AIFF, Bagan had also written a letter to the federation on Thursday evening saying they had no objection to the postponement of the match.

The AIFF, it was learnt, was also giving a serious thought about constituting a one-man commission to solve the issue. The commission, which could be headed by a former Supreme Court or High Court judge, would ask all concerned parties involved in the Sunday's unfinished Derby, to present their cases before giving a verdict.

"Constituting a commission is approved by the AIFF constitution, so there is nothing wrong in it," said an official. The commission, it is believed, would be appointed by the federation president Praful Patel. Most of the executive committee members have already given it in writing, authorising the president to appoint a man of his choice.

Asked about Mohun Bagan's decision to move court, I-League chief executive officer Sunando Dhar said he was yet to receive a copy of the court order.

Meanwhile, East Bengal, too, like Mohun Bagan have sent the federation a legal opinion. The opinion is believed to have given the red and yellow brigade a clean chit on the law and order and organisational issues in Sunday's encounter.

Meanwhile, despite AIFF firm assurances that it will weigh all pros and cons before making a decision on the issue, several I-League teams remained sceptical about the parent body's intention.

"I-League teams are like George Orwell's famous book, Animal Farm, where all animals were equal but some animals were more equal than others," said Churchill Brothers coach Subhas Bhowmick.

"Mohun Bagan are more equal than others to the federation," Bhowmick said. "The federation claimed the law and order situation was ideal at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday, something I don't agree with. But then, why not impose the regulation 22c straightaway," Bhowmick said.

"AIFF did not bat an eyelid before serving show cause to a former national coach (Armando Colaco) and former national captain (Climax Lawrence). Then why make such a fuss over Mohun Bagan," Bhowmick wondered.

While the Churchill coach feared all teams would also defy rules if Mohun Bagan are let off easily, Dempo secretary and coach Armando Colaco felt the AIFF has two sets of rules for different people.

"According to one set of rules, AIFF slapped show cause on people like me without even giving me a hearing… they said it was all as per regulations. In Mohun Bagan's case, they start consulting former High Court judges," said Colaco sarcastically, who, however, agreed that Mohun Bagan had a valid point in withdrawing the team on the law and order issue.