World football governing body FIFA banned Indian Super League clubs. The clubs, SC East Bengal and Kerala Blasters FC are now banned from signing any new players in the transfer window. This move came in view of non-payment of dues to former recruits.
This year, Indian football’s transfer window opens on Wednesday, June 9. FIFA’s ban was drafted on June 1 and forwarded by the All India Football Federation on Monday. The football governing the body says, “Already grappling with the final agreement issue with their present investors Shree Cement, the fresh development is another blow to East Bengal’s preparation for ISL.” While, East Bengal top official Debabrata Sarkar said they have received the letter and are taking “immediate steps” for their players. Blaming their former investor Quess Corporation for this. East Bengal and Quess Corp had a three-year tie-up but the Bengaluru-based investor exited on May 31 last year after which the East Bengal club management again found itself in a logjam with its new investor, Shree Cement, over signing the final agreement. Costa Rican World Cupper Acosta, who played a key role in East Bengal’s runner-up finish in 2018-19 I-League, had complained against the club to FIFA as he got stuck in Kolkata following the lockdown last year. There was worse in store as Quess had applied the Force Majeure clause terminating the players’ contracts before their association with East Bengal had ended.
Now, ahead of the upcoming edition of the league, the club has refused to sign the final binding agreement, claiming that there are “differences” in both the documents, something Shree Cement has denied categorically. Currently the players who have contracts with East Bengal are Mohammed Rafique, Mohammed Rafique Ali Sardar, Wahengbam Angousana, Balwant Singh, Loken Meitei, Bikash Jairu, Anil Chawan, Girik Khosla, Novin Gurung and Pritam Singh.