PUNE: With each passing day, things have started getting messier in Pune football administration as the battle between five city football clubs - CMS Falcons Football Club, Strikers Football Club, Phoenix Sports Club, Fatima XI, Jolly Range Hills Sports Academy - and Pune District Football Association (PDFA) has now reached the court of Civil Judge Senior Division Pune.
Trouble started when one of these five clubs questioned PDFA about the promotion of clubs, which had taken place against the set rules and regulations. There were multiple occasions when the same question was asked to the committee members, but they chose to ignore and continued to stick with their decision.
One of the committee member and PDFA Treasurer Mandar Tamhane, who is also the CTO of the ISL club Bengaluru FC, had shared his views stating that the decision taken by the committee was wrong.
These teams informed the committee that if PDFA did not respond, they would be forced to take the matter to the media. This request was also ignored and that is when the teams reached out to Sakal Times.
The teams were then sent show cause notices on the grounds that they maligned the image of PDFA. The teams then gave a response to the PDFA, however, the association then chose to verbally tell organisers of various city football tournaments to not include these five teams in any tournaments.
The five clubs managed to get a stay against the PDFA, which had called a requisition meeting (last Saturday) of the general body with an intention to ban the five clubs.
A civil suit has been filed and the Senior Division Judge of Pune Civil Court has summoned PDFA president Vishwajeet Kadam and the committe members to appear before it on December 15.
At first, the teams were denied entry into the Vincentian Old Boys Association (VOBA) tournament and later at the recently concluded Guru Teg Bahadur Football tournament.
The five clubs have also alleged that PDFA has taken signatures from various clubs on blank papers under the guise of taking attendance of the meeting and the same signatures are now being used to state that all these clubs want the five so called erring clubs be banned.
Throwing some light on the same, Vijayan Arland from Fatima XI said, “I guess they very well know that they cannot do this and it is unlawful. The teams that are or have given them signatures were told it was for purpose of attendance and it was taken on blank paper. Other than that if there are teams who have given them signatures and club stamps on blank letterheads, this can be easily misused by PDFA, both for saying we have a requisition for meeting or say use it for booting out purpose as the constitution says that if the president or secretary of a club is not present they could give a letter and send a representative on their behalf and in this way PDFA could use their person to vote against the five teams.”
Adding further, Arland said, “The requisition meeting, which was falsely called within two days itself shows how PDFA is manipulating things. My question is that, in the last 18 years they never had to do so much and run around, why the need arises now this year.”
“If they were just and honest in their doings, they would have faced the issue head on and resolved it with the teams way long back and plus not let this escalate so far,” Arland added.
“The PDFA feels their name will get hampered if they get the teams down again. I feel if they would be honest they would not think of that rather they would agree to it and take a stand that yes, we will announce the same and get the number of team required in the next coming league. Teams should know that this is a civil case and if they are helping PDFA in this by giving signatures without knowledge of how it is going to be used, they need to write an email to PDFA asking them not to use their signature and club names for false representation. The teams should also have a dialogue personally with the five teams and all their doubts will be cleared,” Arland suggeted.
Fabian Brahmane, Manager of FC Shivneri, whose signature was taken came forward and said, “What the Pune District Football Association has been doing is not right. I would not like to get involved in this. We were called for a meeting at Dobarwadi ground where all the other clubs were also present. Pyarelal Chaudhary told us that these five clubs have been maligning the image of PDFA. I objected to him saying that the clubs have spoken the truth and he cannot suspend them. Pradeep Pardeshi told me to sign saying that it was for attendance purpose. Everybody who was there signed the paper including me, but I had no idea that our signatures will be misused.”
Adding further Brahmane said, “Till the time Pyarelal Chaudhary and Pradeep Pardeshi are there, football in Pune will not progress. They always promote the teams who are in favour of them and whoever speaks against them are threatened with suspension.”