SC East Bengal captain Daniel Fox will be available for their match against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) later tonight. The club had earlier submitted a written complaint to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), asking them to overturn the red card shown to the Scottish defender for his tackle on FC Goa’s Alexander Jesuraj in their 1-1 draw a few days back. And now, the AIFF Disciplinary Committee has upheld their appeal after reviewing video clips of the incident.
On-field decisions aren’t reviewed unless there is persuasive evidence of gross misjudgment, negligence, arbitrariness or malice according to the CAS charter. However, the committee have come to the conclusion that Fox’s tackle on Jesuraj didn’t amount to ‘violent conduct’ and that there was no intentional foul play from the defender’s part. This seems like a fair assessment, considering the fact that the tackle looked worse than it actually was and because it seemed like a collision between two players going for the ball with full commitment. Moreover, replays clearly suggested that Fox’s foot wasn’t higher than normal and his studs weren’t showing, both common parameters while judging a mistimed tackle.
The Committee also believes that the red card was ‘an error apparent on the part of the referee’ and that ‘rectifying the same was in the interests of fair play’. Although this comes as good news for East Bengal and the club’s fans, there is still no update on whether Robbie Fowler’s yellow card from the same game has been overturned. If it isn’t, the head coach will be forced to watch his team play from the stands with assistant coach Tony Grant taking over the reins by the sidelines.