HC asks Minerva owner to approach AIFF Appeals Committee

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC’s banned owner Ranjit Bajaj was on Wednesday asked by the Delhi High Court to approach the All India Football Federations (AIFF) appeals committee for the revocation of his suspension.

Earlier in the month, Bajaj was banned by the AIFF for a period of one year and also asked to cough up a fine of Rs 10 lakh after he was found guilty of making racial remarks against a referee.

The incident happened during Minerva’s Under-18 Youth League play-off match against Aizawl FC that ended in a 1-1 draw at JLN Stadium in Shillong on May 12.

Bajaj was asked to pay the hefty fine within 10 days from the date of communication of this decision.

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But club director Henna Singh claimed that they don’t have to pay the fine till the pending appeals are decided by the AIFF Appeals Committee.

She added that the HC has given the AIFF Appeals Committee six weeks’ time to hear the matter.

“We are so pleased with the orders of the court to make the appeal hearings time bound to be heard within six weeks and staying the unjust fine applied on us by AIFF.

“This is a small victory for us but an important one as we have already made sure that the AIFF have no option but to hear our appeal at the earliest, it’s an old trick by AIFF not to hear the appeals they don’t want to hear,” Henna said.

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The AIFF Disciplinary Committee, while slapping the sanctions, said that this was the fourth offence committed by Bajaj within a span of a year.

Further, Henna also confirmed that a civil defamation suit claiming damages for defamation to the tune of Rs 1 crore against the AIFF, AIFF Disciplinary Committee Chairman Usha Nath Bannerjee and other AIFF officials had been filed on Wednesday in the Chandigarh court in which notice has been issued to defendants to appear on July 25.

–IANS

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