Kolkata: Mohun Bagan President Swapan Sadhan Bose on Saturday backed under-fire General Secretary Anjan Mitra and Finance Secretary Debashish Dutta even as a group of club supporters demanded the ouster of the duo in the wake of the AIFF suspension till 2014-15.
In a statement, Bose said it was a unanimous decision to withdraw the team in the half-time of December 9 derby clash against East Bengal at Yuva Bharati stadium here.
Bose said some people were making comments against the club officials and indulging in mud-slinging.
"They are trying to politicise the entire matter and are trying to divide us... But they are living in a fool's paradise," he said.
"I, as the president of Mohun Bagan appeal to all members and supporters to remain united and with the club in our moment of crisis," Bose said.
He added that they would ask AIFF for a "favourable" decision on January 15.
But a group of fans, who organised a media conference, said the club was suffering because of Mitra and Dutta.
"They (Mitra and Dutta) should resign immediately taking moral responsibility for the suspension. It's a 125-year-old club and sentiments of many supporters are attached with it. We just can't suffer because of the inept handling of a few officials.
"We don't represent any political party. We just plead at the AIFF courts to overturn the decision and restore parity in the club. Many fans in Pune, Mumbai also have joined us in a signature campaign which will be sent to AIFF," Arindam Talukdar, a member of the group, said.
"It's just pure sentiment that have brought us together. We just don't want our club to suffer because of a few officials. We are pained to see our club's sorry state," a woman supporter, Mohor Chatterjee, said.
They plan to organise a protest march from Subodh Mullick Square to Gostha Pal Statue near Mohun Bagan club on January 14.
More than 1,000 supporters, including former players Subrata Bhattacharya, Manas Bhattacharya, Bidesh Bose, Prasanta Banerjee, Shyamal Banerjee and N Ulganathan had gathered yesterday at Hatibagan, believed to be the birthplace of the club, as they collected signatures to appeal at AIFF.
Manas and Bidesh, who played for both Mohun Bagan and India with distinction in the 1980s, will travel to Delhi and hand over the letter before the federation's executive committee meets on January 15 to discuss the club's official appeal against the suspension order on January 15.
Story first published on: Saturday, 12 January 2013 20:32 IST