CHENNAI: The curious case of Abinash Ruidas took yet another turn on Tuesday with the All India Football Federation asking its players status committee to step in and take a decision on the stand-off between the midfielder and East Bengal, who claim he’s contracted to them.
The controversy started when Abinash’s name came up in the Indian Super League draft where he was duly snapped up by Mumbai City FC. This prompted East Bengal to cry foul, claiming that the player was contracted to them and they had not authorised his transfer to any other club. Abinash, however, contended that his contract with East Bengal ran out towards the end of last season and that he was free to play for whoever he wanted to.
The Indian Football Association — the governing body in West Bengal — had sided with East Bengal, referring the matter to its disciplinary committee. They had contended that with both the club and player coming under their ambit, the matter was within their jurisdiction. However, a meeting of the AIFF special committee on Tuesday said otherwise.
“The decision of the IFA dated July 28, 2017 relating to the legal rights of the player on the basis of the token 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. Accordingly, the matter relating to validity of the contracts of the players will be dealt by the AIFF Players Status Committee at a meeting to be summoned soon,” said an AIFF statement.
Abinash is distressed at what he had to go through. “What the club has done is really bad,” he told Express. “After last year, they asked me if I was renewing with them and I told them I’ll decide after holidays. When I chose to go into the ISL draft, they told me I had two more years on my contract. I went to their office many times and asked them to show the contract, They did not have anything. All the time, they were just trying to pressurise me into signing a new one, saying I will get more money.”