Kolkata, May 10 (IANS) Quess East Bengal footballers, whose multi-year contracts were terminated in the last week of April, have approached the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) and are even mulling the option of contacting the All India Football Federation (AIFF) seeking compensation from the Bangalore-based investor.
East 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 called off with matches remaining 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.
A clutch 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.
Jaime Santos Colado’s contract would have ended in 2020-21 and it is likely that the Spaniard will be asking salary for the entire 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 East Bengal decision,” added Bhattacharya.
Quess, who came on board with East 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 East 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.
“East 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.