Katsumi Yusa has signed for current I-League champions Chennai City FC for upcoming season, the club has confirmed on Monday. Katsumi will be the Asian quota player for the Southern Indian club, who are set to play their AFC competitions from next season.
The move came as a surprise as few days ago, the Japanese midfielder seemed to have said through his Facebook post that he will be returning to his former club Mohun Bagan for the next season. The Facebook post is now deleted as the Japanese midfielder, and it seems to have been a hoax from his Facebook account.
Mohun Bagan fans were elated after hearing the Japanese will don the Green and Maroon jersey. After all, Katsumi had played a pivotal role to help the club clinch their maiden I-League in 2014-15 season. But their joy was short-lived as Katsumi opted for what is a club in a better situation at this moment.
The prospect of playing in the Asian level competition and working under a tactical coach Akbar Nawas has prompted Katsumi to sign for Chennai City. Mohun Bagan are not going through great times and it is also uncertain whether they will jump their ship to Indian Super League from next season or play in the I-League.
Katsumi had courted controversy in the previous season also, when he signed for Manipur-based side NEROCA, despite not getting the no-objection certificate from his previous club East Bengal. The Red and Golds refused to let him go. As a result, the Japanese complained to FIFA. On new coach Alejandro Menendez’s insistence, East Bengal finally agreed to release Katsumi.
NEROCA finished in a disappointing sixth position in this I-League, which prompted the club to make a change at the helm. Manuel Retamero was sacked from the position of head coach and former Indian footballer Renedy Singh was roped in.
For NEROCA, Katsumi played an influential role, scoring four goals in the tournament. He missed few matches due to a knee injury. His effort was not enough to help the club finish in a respectable position.
Now, it remains to be seen whether signing for Chennai City turn the fortunes of the Japanese player, who is a veteran in Indian football.Published 15 Apr 2019, 13:17 IST