Inside Story: Why did Bagan footballers Shilton and Kingshuk leave for Ludhiana without paying the fines?


Kolkata: Mohun Bagan footballers Shilton Paul and Kingshuk Debnath on Thursday travelled with the team to Ludhiana to take part in the club’s I League opener against Minerva Punjab FC. Both Kingshuk and Shilton were penalized by the Indian Football Association (IFA) for harassing the referee during the Calcutta Football League derby which was played on September 24.

Bagan goalkeeper Shilton was fined rupees 2 lakhs while Kingshuk Debnath had to pay rupees 1 lakhs. Both the footballers were also asked to write an unconditional apology to IFA before being allowed to play again.

Accordingly, both Kingshuk and Shilton mailed an apology to the parent body on Wednesday night. But none of them paid the fines before boarding the flight to Punjab on Thursday.

But the question is why they were allowed to take part in the club’s I League opener against Minerva Punjab FC on Friday.

According to sources, IFA secretary Utpal Ganguly has allowed both the footballers to take part in the I League opener against Minerva Punjab FC following his informal meeting with Debashish Dutta and Srinjoy Bose at a programme on Thursday night.

Insiders in the programme say both were spotted in a tent in maidan having fish fry. Mr Ganguly and Bagan officials were seen cracking a joke and bursting into laughter.

It is learnt that upon the request of the Bagan officials, the IFA secretary decided to allow them to take the field against Minerva.

The clarification given by the parent body was the letter was sent late night on Wednesday to both the footballers so they hardly had any time to pay the fines as the flight to Ludhiana was in the morning.


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