East Bengal sends a request to AFC
The Kolkata Club, East Bengal, have sent a letter to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) stating their problems regarding the release of the Indian national players currently present in their squad. The main reason behind the problem is the clash of dates between the AFC Cup matches and the AFC Challenger Cup qualifiers.
East Bengal will be playing in the AFC Cup matches whereas Wim Koevermans’ men will be playing in the AFC Challenger Cup qualifiers. Some of the matches of the AFC Cup and the AFC Challenger Cup are slated to be held on the same date, and there are high chances that 6-7 players of East Bengal will be called upon for national duties. If that happens, the East Bengal team will be left in disarray as they wont be able to perform well in the AFC Cup without their key players.
“We have as many as six of our players who are a part of the Indian squad. Obviously they will be busy with the national commitments at a time when we play the AFC Cup. So we requested to alter the dates of some of our matches in the competition,“said club assistant secretary Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta.
East Bengal have also decided that they would send a letter to the federation requesting them to leave the East Bengal players from the Indian side during the AFC Cup. East Bengal club secretary Santosh Bhattacharya said,” East Bengal will be representing India in the AFC Cup. If East Bengal performs well then the head of our country will only be held high. So we will request the federation to spare the Indian players during the AFC Cup.”