East Bengal trio’s salary quest
Three Quess East Bengal footballers have sought the help of Football Players Association of India (FPAI), the Indian players’ body.
The players, who had either one or two years left in their contracts with East Bengal, want the club’s investor — Quess — to give them their salaries.
On April 25, Quess had activated the force majeure clause to terminate all the contracts (players and coaching staff alike) with effect from May 1.
The players were also told they would not receive the salary for May. The players, in a series emails, had protested what they called a “unilateral decision”.
“As of now the players want FPAI to help them get the salaries. Only three players have sought help, but the process has started so maybe others will also come,” one source told The Telegraph on Wednesday.
A host of Indian players, among them Lalrindika Ralte, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Abhishek Ambekar, Asheer Akhtar, Samad Ali Mallick, Prakash Sarkar, Manoj Mohammed and Boithang Haokip, have one or more years remaining in their contracts.
It has been learnt that the three footballers, who have requested their names not be made public for the time being, have said they would stay with East Bengal only if salaries are cleared. “They have offers from other clubs,” one official said.
The FPAI is not officially recognised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) but is allowed to represent the footballers in the AIFF players’ status committee and disciplinary committee meetings if the footballer concerned submits a letter of consent mentioning the body as his official representative.
In February, FPAI helped Ambekar, Darren Caldeira and Raju Gailwad to get their dues from Mohun Bagan.
Trouble is also brewing down south. Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa is threatening to move Fifa if Chennai City FC “doesn’t agree to pay of his dues”.
The club’s former Spanish players — Roberto Eslava Suarez, Sandro Rodriguez, Nauzet Santana — are also expected to follow suit.
Chennai City FC, who won the I-League in 2018-19, terminated the foreigners’ contracts applying the force majeure clause last week.
The point of contention in Katsumi’s case is that the midfielder wants the club to pay his salary till April.
Having returned to his country six days after Chennai City’s last I-League match against Neroca FC on March 14, he also wants the club to bear the cost of his airfare.
However, according to one source, the club is only willing to pay him till March.
“Both the parties are looking for an amicable solution. If that doesn’t happen, Katsumi may move Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC),” one FPAI official said.
The DRC had ruled a case in Katsumi’s favour a couple of months ago over his contract dispute with East Bengal. The Calcutta giants had to pay off the Japanese midfielder’s dues.