All India Football Federation (AIFF) was on Monday fined USD 18,000 by the continental governing body for spectator invasion during its national team’s Asian Cup qualifying round matches against Afghanistan and Hong Kong in Kolkata in June.
But, the bulk of the amount — USD 13,500 — is a suspended fine to be paid in case of a repeat offence within two years.
The Disciplinary and Ethics Committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) imposed USD 8,000 fine on the AIFF after one home spectator invaded the India team’s technical bench — a restricted area — during the match against Afghanistan.
India beat Afghanistan 2-1 in the match played at Salt Lake Stadium on June 11.
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The AFC’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee considered the fan invasion as “an act of improper conduct” on the part of the AIFF. It said India failed to fulfil its obligations on two counts — “take every safety precaution demanded by the circumstances during the match” and “ensure that law and order were maintained in the stadium and its immediate surroundings”.
“AIFF is ordered to pay a fine of USD 3,000 for violating Art. 65.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code … USD 2,250 of the amount … is suspended for a probationary period of two years,” the ruling said relating to the first part of the offence.
“Should another violation of a similar nature occur within the probationary period, the suspension is automatically revoked, and the sanction applied; it is added to the sanction pronounced for the new infringement.”
The AFC said the unsuspended portion of the fine — USD 750 — shall be settled within 90 days from the date of the communication of the decision.
For the second part of the offence, the AFC committee ordered the AIFF to pay a fine of USD 5,000 out of which USD 3,750 is suspended for a probationary period of two years.
The unsuspended portion of the fine — USD 1250 — shall be settled within 90 days from the date of the decision.
On June 14 again, two Indian spectators invaded the field of play and the home team’s technical bench (a restricted area) during the match against Hong, which was deemed “an act of improper conduct” on the part of the AIFF.
The AFC’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee fined the AIFF USD 5000 each for the two parts of the offence, out of which USD 3750 each were suspended for a probationary period of two years just like in the case of the match against Afghanistan.
India had beaten Hong Kong 4-0 in that match at Salt Lake Stadium.
India had also beaten Cambodia 2-0 to top Group D and qualified for the 2023 Asian Cup.