FIFA ban on player transfer hits East Bengal hard
The FIFA transfer ban comes as an after-effect of a failed tie up with its previous investor Quess Corp, who quit the deal midway last season (2019-20) without making full payments to its contracted players.
East Bengal's previous investor, Quess Corp Limited, failed to pay the dues, according to a senior club official. (Representative Image)
East Bengal club found itself in bigger trouble after a letter from the FIFA players' status committee (PSC) barred it from signing Indian players in the upcoming season. With the club already embroiled in a dispute with its investor, the ban will stop its team-building process ahead of the new Indian Super League (ISL) season.
The FIFA transfer ban comes as an after-effect of a failed tie up with its previous investor Quess Corp, who quit the deal midway last season (2019-20) without making full payments to its contracted players. As East Bengal club took back the "sporting rights" from Quess Corp after their agreement fell through, it did it without ensuring that the investor pays off the dues in time, according to a senior club official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
With their payments falling due, some of the players approached the All India Football Federation (AIFF) through the Football Players Association India seeking a resolution of their grievance. Some international players contracted with it took the matter to FIFA’s Players' Status Committee.
The club failed to reply convincingly to the ensuing queries from the world and the national bodies following which the ban came into effect. The sanction will be revoked once the payments are made but East Bengal finds itself in a financial constraint as its officials are yet to formalise the final agreement with its new investor, Shree Cement.
The new investor has distanced itself from accepting any liability of the club existing before September 1, 2020, the day when the new agreement (term sheet) was signed. However, according to Shree Cement insiders, the investor "may consider paying off the dues and will be considered as loan to the club. But everything will happen only when the final agreement is signed," said an official from the investor's side. ISL