March 6, 2021

East Bengal: Indian players file complaint to AIFF’s Player Status Committee over unpaid dues

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East Bengal must revert within September 4 to the committee…

East Bengal players have knocked on the doors of All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Player Status Committee over unpaid salary, Goal has learnt. The committee has given the club a deadline of September 4 to explain their position.

It is understood that around 16 players have long term contracts with the club that runs till the end of the 2020-21 season and in some cases, beyond that. Seven of them had already voiced their grievances to the Football Players Association of India (FPAI).

Now, the seven have taken a step forward and have registered a formal complaint with the Player Status Committee. A couple of players are still negotiating with club and are expected to follow the same path in the next few days. 

They have also terminated their contract unilaterally and are now free agents. 

As per FIFA’s regulations of status and transfer of players, Article 14.b (Terminating a contract with just cause for outstanding salaries) states that  in case a club unlawfully fails to play a player two monthly salaries on the due date, the player will be deemed to have just cause to terminate his contract, provided he gives the club 15 days (or a period specifically mentioned in the contract) notice to fulfill his dues.

In case the player’s salary is not on a monthly basis, the pro-rata value corresponding to two months will be considered. Delayed payment of such an amount is enough for the player to terminate the contract and move on to another club, provided he gives the due notice.

Of course, the player can still take legal action against the club to obtain whatever compensation is owed to him as per the contract. But he can do so while playing for another club, with the current club not getting monetary benefits from the transfer whatsoever.

It must be noted that after the termination of contract with Quess Corp concluded, all the liabilities fall back to ‘East Bengal Club Private Limited’, including all contracts and clauses, entered into with a player by ‘Quess East Bengal Football Club’ (QEBFC). Therefore, the onus is now on East Bengal to honour those contracts.

The committee will now summon both the parties for a hearing.