ISL 2020-21: East Bengal denies filing ‘review plea’ over Fowler’s ban after rejection by AIFF

ISL 2020-21: Indian Super League (ISL) side SC East Bengal on Friday clarified that the club did not file any “review plea” to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) against head coach Robbie Fowler’s four-match suspension and Rs 5 lakh fine.

The club issued a statement after media reports claimed that Bengal’s “request to the Chairman of the AIFF’s disciplinary committee, Ushanath Banerjee, in relation to SC East Bengal’s head coach Robbie Fowler’s four-match suspension” was “turned down by Banerjee”. “SC East Bengal would like to clarify that at no point was any official or authorised request made by it in such regard and therefore there is no question of an official review having been resorted to by SC East Bengal. SC East Bengal is in receipt of the AIFF Disciplinary Committee’s order and is assessing its options under the AIFF’s Disciplinary Code,” the club said in a statement.

“As the official statement of the AIFF clearly clarifies, the main charge made out against Mr Fowler relates to the fine and/or match suspension that may be applicable to any person engaging in public criticism or making any adverse comment (such as about the integrity of a person) in media, press conferences etc. anytime against a Match Official. The AIFF order also specifically clarifies that none of Fowler’s comments were racist and therefore any media reports to the contrary should be rejected,” it added.

On Thursday, AIFF Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Fowler for breaching Article 50 (misconduct against match officials) of the AIFF Disciplinary Code. He was suspended for four matches and fined Rs 5 lakh.

“This punitive action is specifically in regard to Fowler’s criticism of on-field refereeing decisions in matches of the Indian Super League 2020-21 season involving SC East Bengal,” AIFF said in a statement.