Monday, 30th October 2017

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No-show strains East Bengal-Quess ties

Their no-show meant Peerless has won the title, which would be made official after the Pujas

By Angshuman Roy & Arindam Bandyopadhyay in Calcutta
  • Published 5.10.19, 2:01 AM
  • Updated 5.10.19, 2:01 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Alejandro Menendez Garcia Telegraph file picture

The tenuous relationship between East Bengal and its investor Quess has again come under stress after the club’s no-show at the Kalyani Stadium on Thursday.

The club team didn’t turn up for their CFL Premier Division Group A match against Calcutta Customs match which they needed to win by at least a seven-goal margin to regain the title.

Their no-show meant Peerless has won the title, which would be made official after the Pujas.

“We were completely in the dark. We had no knowledge about what was happening in Calcutta. It was a decision taken by the local officials. Quess has nothing to do with that,” Ajit Isaac, chairman & managing director, Quess Corp Limited, told The Telegraph on Friday afternoon.

Does that mean Quess’s relationship with East Bengal is under a cloud? “I do not want to say anything more. Quess Corp is a multi-million dollar company and we have a host of other things to do other than talking about East Bengal,” Isaac said.

Quess Corp signed a deal with East Bengal on July 5, 2018, following which a sports management joint venture was formed, Quess East Bengal Football Club Pvt Ltd.

East Bengal though stopped short of blaming Quess.

“The Indian Football Association (IFA) informed us about the rescheduled match late on October 1. Since the club is closed till October 15, we came to know about the mail late. We informed Sanjit Sen (Quess East Bengal chief executive officer) who told us that some players and coach were going on a short break. So it was not possible to play before October 21,” club official Debabrata Sarkar said.

Sen, when contacted, said East Bengal were ready to play the match.

“We were game but could not field a team because most of the players were unavailable. Coach’s (Alejandro Menendez Garcia) absence was not the issue. The problem was lack of players. Even with 11 players we could have travelled to Kalyani. But we had only five-six players. If we were not keen to play the match, the why did the coach practise even on October 1,” he said.

Relations between East Bengal, celebrating its centenary year, and Quess have never been good. While East Bengal has accused Quess of high-handedness, the Bangalore-based company has alleged that the club’s officials were “unprofessional” and suffered from insecurity issues.