October 22, 2021

Gokulam Kerala transfer ban: AIFF Players’ Status Committee set INR 18 lakh as compensation, club set to appeal

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Gokulam Kerala are set to appeal against the AIFF Player’s Status Committee decision…

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Player’s Status Committee, on Monday, handed I-League side Gokulam Kerala a transfer ban for two windows over an alleged contractual dispute with footballer Malemngamba Meetei. 

The Manipuri winger had joined the Malabarians from NEROCA ahead of the 2019-20 season on a three-year contract but after completing just one season, the club was alleged to have unilaterally terminated the player’s contract towards the end of last season.  

It is believed that the player contacted the Indian FA’s Player Status Committee over a financial dispute with the club. The Committee examined Meetei’s case and arrived at the decision that the club will have to pay the player a compensation amount of INR 6 lakhs for the 2020-21 season and INR 12 lakhs for the 2021-22 season.

A total of INR 18 lakhs must be paid to the footballer by the South Indian club and the Committee has also directed the player to directly notify the club regarding the payment process. 

The player claimed a compensation amount of INR 28 lakh from the club but the committee arrived at the figure of INR 18 lakh by using the method of mitigated compensation. The forward is currently under contract with Bengaluru United and Gokulam are required to pay only the amount that he is not earning from his current contract (Compensation = Wage agreed with Gokulam – current wage) which amounts to INR 1.5 lakh per month.

The committee calculated the total amount for four months for the ongoing season and it amounts to INR 6 lakh. They also considered the cost for eight months (2021-22) season which makes it INR 12 lakh.

It has been learnt that the player also wanted the club to pay him for the month of April and May (2019-20 season) but it was rejected as the season ended early in March before the Coronavirus pandemic struck.

If Gokulam Kerala fails to compensate Meetei within 30 days of the notification, the case will be directly referred to the AIFF Disciplinary Committee for non-compliance of the verdict. 

Along with a hefty compensation amount, the I-League side has also been handed a transfer ban for two windows in accordance with AIFF Regulations. 

The decision comes as a huge blow for the Malabarians but the Kozhikode-based club are set to appeal against the verdict. 

Goal has learnt that Meetei is the only player from last season’s Gokulam Kerala squad who was given a showcase notice by the club due to disciplinary issues. According to a source close to the developments, the player failed to turn up for training sessions without citing valid reasons and is also claimed to have misbehaved with the then Gokulam head coach Fernando Varela due to a lack of first-team minutes.  

However, the player has denied all charges levelled against him. 

“The club did not send me any show-cause notice. I had some problems with the coach but it was resolved amicably. We are like a family and now I am in good terms with him as well,” said Meetei to Goal

The 29-year-old winger has represented Indian clubs such as Salgaocar, Bengaluru, Mumbai and NEROCA. He has also played for Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United during the 2017-18 season.