East Bengal players reflect on approaching AIFF against the club

KOLKATA: Eastern bengal footballers, whose multi-year contracts were terminated in the last week of April, have approached the Football Indian Players Association (FPAI) and are even considering the option of contacting the All India Football Federation ( AIFF ) requesting compensation from the Bangalore-based investor.

Eastern bengal 's primary investors, Quess, had activated the 'force majeure' clause to terminate all the contracts with effect from May 1, on April 25.

The I-League season has been suspended with the remaining matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mohun Bagan, who won the title with four rounds to spare, were declared champions.

Around 10 Indian players have approached us so far seeking help. Six-seven more players will also be sending us their contracts and then we will draft a letter to Quess by the end of next week. If the matter can be solved amicably, fine , or we will help them approach the AIFF, FPAI's player liaison officer Siddhartha Bhattacharya told IANS.

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A group of Indian players, including Lalrindika Ralte, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Abhishek Ambekar, Asheer Akhtar, Samad Ali Mallick, Prakash Sarkar, Manoj Mohammed and Boithang Haokip, have one or more years remaining on their contracts.

Jaime Santos Colado's contract would have ended in 2020-21 and the Spanish is likely to ask him for a salary throughout the season.

"We have advised the foreign players to approach their respective players' associations seeking justice. The Spanish players' association is very strong and these players could complain to FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) against the Quess Eastern bengal decision," added Bhattacharya.

Quess, who came on board with Eastern bengal as an investor in 2018, had earlier stated that it would end its association with the red and gold brigade from May 31.

FPAI general manager Cyrus Confectioner warned Eastern bengal to catch hold of the current investor till they are on board as the players sign contracts with the club and not the investor.

" Eastern bengal cannot be in denial. Quess will be gone after May 31. The club will still be liable to clear the players' dues as a player signs a contract with a club and not its investor. If they think they can get away with this, they have their head in the sand," said Confectioner who has spoken to the red and golds officials about the issue.