NEW DELHI: In a relief to Abinash Ruidas, the AIFF has overturned the Indian Football Association's directive to the winger to play for East Bengal, making it clear that only the parent body has the "authority to adjudicate the disputed" subject.
IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli, had on July 27, declared that Ruidas is contracted to East Bengal for two more years. Ruidas was signed by ISL franchise Mumbai City FC at its players draft but East Bengal have claimed that the footballer still had a contract for two more seasons.
Ruidas claimed that he never signed for East Bengal for 2017-18 and they have "forged" his signature. The AIFF then formed a seven-member special committee to find out whether the federation has the "authority" to decide on the status and transfer of the footballer, with eminent lawyer Usha Nath Banerjee as its head.
In a statement the committee said, "The decision of the IFA dated July 28, 2017, cannot be sustained and/or enforced. "AIFF is the authority to adjudicate the disputed subject issue in its entirety including the 'status' of the player and/or whether there exists any valid and binding written contract, and whether there has been mandatory compliance of Articles 4.3 and 5 of the AIFF Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players."
The IFA had earlier received a strongly-worded letter from the AIFF. The committee further stated, "As per the AIFF constitution and AIFF regulations for the status and transfer of players, the 'players status committee' of the AIFF is entrusted with exclusive powers to deal with and settle the 'dispute' as to the status of the player and his contractual validity.
"Any other or further decision of the IFA relating to or arising out of the subject issue of 'Abinash Ruidas', cannot be sustained/enforced."