Midfielder Eric Paartalu to rejoin Bengaluru FC ahead of ISL 2021-22

The Australian player was earlier left out of the 29-man squad for the rescheduled AFC Cup playoff against Maldivian side Club Eagles after reports emerged of a breach of COVID-19 protocols by BFC squad members in May.

Eric Paartalu (centre) with Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri (left) and the then head coach Carles Cuadrat. (FILE PHOTO)   -  K MURALI KUMAR /The Hindu

Bengaluru FC midfielder Erik Paartalu, who was involved in a tiff with his club over not being allowed to train, will soon be joining his teammates ahead of the 2021-22 ISL pre-season, Naushad Moosa, BFC’s coach at the Durand Cup, said on Tuesday.

"The senior team is on a break. He is training at the Inspire Institute of Sport in Ballari. In a couple of weeks, the senior team will assemble and he [Paartalu] will rejoin us," Moosa said on the eve of the Cup opener against Kerala Blasters.

The Australian was earlier left out of the 29-man squad for the AFC Cup playoff against Maldivian side Club Eagles, which BFC won 1-0. The playoff was originally scheduled for May but was postponed after reports emerged of a breach of COVID-19 protocols by BFC squad members in Male. A photo in a Channel News Maldives report had shown Paartalu and two other BFC members outdoors.

Iran's Iman Basafa joins the team

The club also announced on Tuesday that it has signed Iranian midfielder Iman Basafa for the upcoming ISL season.

The 29-year-old has signed a contract that will run until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Basafa, who most recently represented Machine Sazi in the Persian Gulf Pro League, is Bengaluru FC's 10th signing of the summer.

"Iman is our man! The Blues have acquired the services of Iranian midfielder Iman Basafa on a deal that runs until the end of the 2021-22 season," the club tweeted.

Basafa has represented his national side at the U17, U20 and U23 levels but has never been capped by the senior team.

(With inputs from PTI)

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