The player’s status committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has imposed a two-window transfer ban on Indian Super League side FC Pune City (FCPC) and a fine of Rs 5 lakh for “inducing a breach of contract” to sign Spanish midfielder Nestor Gordillo from I-League champion Chennai City FC (CCFC), without paying the necessary transfer fee.

The committee also handed a four-month ban to Gordillo, who signed a “pre-contract” with the Pune club despite having a year left in his contract with Chennai City FC. The Spaniard has been asked to pay a compensation of three-months salary to the club and pay a fine of Rs 50,000 to the AIFF.

The committee also found FCPC of misguiding the committee by providing wrong information in its defence.

Commenting on the matter, Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh said: "Today's verdict shows our stand is vindicated and justice has prevailed. FC Pune City consistently lied about their acts and they have been thoroughly exposed today. I hope this verdict is a lesson for the big teams to stop going behind the smaller clubs and do such deals. As a small I-League club, we take a lot of effort to identify and sign potential talents. One of our revenue streams is the transfers business and such acts affect the valuation of players.”

The committee, headed by Babu Mather, in its judgement said: "The Committee finds that, by signing the contract with FCPC, the Player has breached his contract with CCFC. Moreover, since such breach is induced because of signing of a contract with the Player by FCPC, it is considered to be an inducement to breach of such contract by FCPC."

Spelling out Gordillo's punishment, it added: "In light of the facts, circumstances and the Committee’s findings in the present  case, and considering the position of law examined in this regard, this Committee finds  that, Mr. Nestor Jesus Gordillo Benitez, the Player has breached the contract signed between Chennai City Football Club and the Player and hence, is under Article 21(1) of  the AIFF RSTP, the Player is directed to serve a four-month ban from playing in any official matches organised by or under the aegis of AIFF from the date of communication of this decision. Moreover, the Player is directed to pay a one-time compensation amounting to 3 (three) months of the Player’s salary to CCFC along with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand) to AIFF, both being payable within 15 (fifteen) days from the date of communication of this decision."

Pune City, which has struggled to make its mark in the ISL, can sign players in the ongoing transfer window with its ban starting from the January window. "FC Pune City is held liable for inducing such breach of the contract and hence, under Article 21 read with Article 27 of the AIFF RSTP, FCPC is banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for two registration periods which shall have effect from the upcoming registration period i.e. the second registration period of the 2019-20 Season which is from 1st January to 31st January 2020 and the first registration period of the 2020-21 Season whenever the dates of the registration period is announced by AIFF along with a fine of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs) to be paid to AIFF within 15 (fifteen) days from the date of communication of this decision," the committee said.

The player and the club, however, can appeal to the AIFF's Appeal Committee.

- Pune City to appeal decision -

FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said the club would appeal the decision. "We are very disappointed and feel it is not the right decision as far as we are concerned. We are going to review it (the decision) with our lawyers and then decide the future course of action. Yes, we will appeal, he said.