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AIFF defers Air India - Fransa match

February 28, 2006 20:10 IST

A day after announcing that the Air India-Fransa Pax National Football League match would be played on March 2, the All India Football Federation did a U-turn on Tuesday and deferred the match.

It did not announce a new date for the match, but issued a statement saying Fransa will play other Goa outfits, Sporting Clube and Salgaocar, on March 5 and 8 respectively.

The Federation also decided to discuss Air India's letter, which requested it to reply to an earlier letter wherein the Mumbai club had questioned the logic behind deciding a replay of the match instead of awarding it to them.

The club, in its latest letter, said they would not be able to play the March 2 match as most of their players are on leave in the belief that the NFL would restart on March 10 and would not return before March 5.

However, AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco on Monday had said that the match would be held as per schedule on Thursday, but added that "other options" may be considered if Air India requestes in writing about the problems faced because of non-availability of players.

Protesting poor refereeing in the NFL match against Mahindra United, Fransa Pax did not turn up for the Air India fixture on February 3 and threatened to pull out of the league.

The Goan club disputed the referee's decision to award two penalties to the Mumbai team and demanded a replay of the match with Mahindra United.

On February 23, the AIFF decided not to give in to the Fransa's demand, but made concessions by ordering a replay of the match against Air India on March 2.

Air India then disputed the AIFF's decision, saying the match should awarded to them as Fransa had failed to turn up for the February 3 match.