East Bengal seems to have fallen in trouble yet again, just a couple of days ahead of their first I-League match. Katsumi Yusa, the Japanese player has complained to FIFA asking for a solution regarding a contract-related issue.
Katsumi, who signed for NEROCA FC this season, was contracted with East Bengal till 2018-19. Despite a poor performance from the team last year, Katsumi played a valuable role and the team management initially decided to retain him.
But the situation changed once football-related activities were taken over by investor Quess Corp. They decided not to retain Katsumi, without officially speaking to him. Knowing this, Katsumi’s agent started contacting with other clubs and after some negotiations, the former Mohun Bagan player signed for NEROCA.
East Bengal officials were not aware of this and when they came to know, the club decided against giving No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Katsumi. When repeated appeals to the club went in vain, Katsumi decided to take the matter to football’s highest governing body. The matter has also reached to AIFF Player’s Status Committee and a decision is awaited.
East Bengal are already suffering a transfer ban, for which they cannot sign their sixth foreigner anytime soon until the matter is resolved by AIFF. If FIFA imposes another punishment on the red and gold brigade, it could only make the situation worse.
Katsumi had played for NorthEast United in the Indian Super League before and is already a fan favourite among the people in the north-east. NEROCA have already introduced Katsumi as their player officially. But according to the rules, without a NOC, the Japanese footballer can’t play for the club.
East Bengal will play NEROCA on Saturday and Katsumi’s chances of participation in his ‘revenge game’ against his former club now look bleak.Published 25 Oct 2018, 07:38 IST