New Delhi: Mohun Bagan's fight to avoid relegation in the I-League is set to get tougher after their captain Odafa Okolie was on Monday handed an additional match ban by the AIFF for arguing with the referee during the derby match against East Bengal last December.
Odafa, who was serving an automatic two-match ban after he was red-carded in the December 9 derby, was also imposed a fine of Rs 1,50,000 by the Disciplinary Committee of the All India Football Federation.
"The AIFF's Disciplinary Committee comprising of N A Khan (Chairman), Rakesh Bakshi, Uma Prasad Mukherjee, Premashis Chowdhury and D S Sivaswamy, met at the Football House on Monday (January 21, 2013). The Committee reviewed all the documents, the video of the I-League match between KEB and MMB (played on December 9, 2012) and interrogated Odafa Okolie who was present in the hearing," the AIFF said in a statement.
"After taking into consideration an unconditional apology from Okolie, the Committee imposed an additional one-match ban (in I-League 2012/13) and also imposed a fine of Rs. 1,50,000 on the Mohun Bagan player," the statement said.
The committee also directed that Odafa will be allowed to play only after paying the fine.
Mohun Bagan were initially suspended for two I-League seasons for failing to turn up in the second half of the derby match after their midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi was hit on the face by a stone hurled from the stands and was hospitalised.
Odafa was handed an automatic two-match ban after he was red carded for a prolonged argument with the referee regarding a warning against one of his team-mates. As soon as the Nigerian was sent off, Mohun Bagan fans started to hurl missiles, one of them hitting Nabi's face.
The ban on Mohun Bagan was later revoked by the AIFF Executive Committee while imposing a fine of Rs two crore. The club also had to start from the scratch in I-League without any points from the 10 matches they had already played.
Left with 16 matches to avoid relegation, Mohun Bagan lost to Salgaocar 0-2 yesterday in their first match after the revocation of ban. They will now have to play two more matches without their star striker.
Story first published on: Monday, 21 January 2013 21:06 IST