06.05.2016 13:48 h

Indian club owners 'shocked' at ban verdicts

The owners of one of India's top football teams expressed "shock" Friday at being fined $1.6 million and handed lengthy bans after last season's play-off final ended with a punch-up and claims of match-fixing.

In a ruling announced late Thursday, a regulatory commission also imposed a 15 point penalty on FC Goa, effectively scuppering their chances of silverware when the next edition of the competition kicks off in November.

In their first reaction, the team's owners said Friday that they were "considering all options" but held back from confirming they would appeal.

Goa had been leading last December's ISL final 2-1 until their opponents Chennaiyin grabbed an equalizer in the 90th minute and then scored again in the third minute of extra time to complete a dramatic comeback victory in a match that was played on Goa's home ground.

The final whistle sparked a melee on the pitch which then spread to the dugouts and the players' tunnel, with the victors from Chennai accused of taunting their vanquished hosts.

Goa refused to attend the trophy presentation ceremony and several team officials alleged that the outcome of the match had been fixed.

Dattaraj Salgaocar, one of Goa's co-owners, even lodged a police complaint that he had been assaulted by Chennaiyin's Brazilian international captain Elano who was subsequently arrested.

But after watching video evidence that showed Salgaoacar was actully the instigator against Elano, the regulatory commission banned him for the three seasons and imposed a two-year ban on his co-owner Srinivas Dempo.

The commission said it found no evidence to back up the match-fixing allegations as it ordered Goa to pay a fine of 100 million rupees (nearly $1.5 million) and a further $150,000 to Chennaiyin FC.

The statement from Salgaocar and Dempo said they were "surprised and shocked with the order", especially as they believed that the case would be dealt with by a more senior body.

"We are studying the order and considering all options before us," the statement added.

The ISL is a eight-team tournament that launched three years ago, seeking to emulate the success of cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL).

The first two editions have featured a combination of Indian talent and ageing foreign stars such as Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero and the controversial French striker Nicolas Anelka.