Fransa's battle with AIFF continues

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Goan club Fransa had threatened to quit the National Football League unless one of their games was replayed.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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The National Football League (NFL) could be headed for a major crisis. Goan club Fransa had threatened to quit the league unless one of their games was replayed. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has now given them time till Wednesday evening to rejoin the league or face disciplinary action. However, Fransa's president who also happens to be Goa's agriculture minister told NDTV that he would not back down. Controversial penalty The controversy began when referee P Vikramjit granted a penalty to Mahindra during a match they played against Fransa. The second penalty was also awarded in controversial circumstances. Mahindra went on to beat Fransa 2-1. This seems to have not gone down well with Fransa. Club president Micky Pacheco asked for the game to be replayed, but with that request turned down, the Goan club refused to play its next match against Air India. However the AIFF, following an emergency meeting in Delhi, decided that they would not give in to Fransa. "The moment we got the protest note we swung into action. We called back the referee and said that we will furnish a report by the 15th. "They threatened to withdraw from the match and the league. It sends an adverse message to the game and the league. "AIFF makes it clear if any attempt is made to bring disrepute to the game, we shall act instantly," said Priya Ranjan Das Munsi, President, AIFF. Protest to continue However, Pacheco has said his protest against the standard of refereeing in the NFL will continue and so he will not agree to the AIFF's demand to rejoin the league unless the match is replayed. The quality of referees in Indian football is certainly a debatable issue, but whether that gives the right to a club to resort to such blackmail measures is also debatable. For now, the AIFF seems confident that Fransa will relent.