The alarming news of transfer bans being imposed by world governing body FIFA on Indian Super League (ISL) outfits Kerala Blasters and East Bengal first aired on Monday night. As per the bans, the two concerned clubs will no longer be able to sign new players in the upcoming June transfer window.
Initially, it was reported that their failure to comply with financial obligations attracted the decision from FIFA. The correspondence from the FIFA player status committee was made on June 1 and the AIFF sent a letter to the clubs on June 7.
Why were the bans imposed ?
As per several reports emerging in the media, the two clubs have been handed the transfer ban due to the non-payment of their players’ wages. Apparently, Kerala Blasters failed to pay the remaining salary to their former player Matej Poplatinik who left the club in 2020. The Slovenian striker thereafter joined Scottish top division club Livingston FC ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Likewise, East Bengal committed the same mistake of not paying ex-defender Jhonny Acosta’s salary. Thus the latter approached the committee for help. As a result, FIFA decided to impose the bans. The Costa Rican, who signed for East Bengal after the 2018 World Cup, returned to the club in 2020. He was signed as a replacement for Ansumanah Kromah after he had left the club the year before.
What’s next for Kerala Blasters?
Kerala Blasters only need to pay the required amount to Poplatnik. They will then be allowed to sign new players in the transfer window starting from Wednesday.
The club released a statement on Tuesday confirming the same. “Kerala Blasters Football Club can confirm that all necessary actions have been taken to clear pending obligations with respect to the transfer ban imposed by FIFA on the club. The club expects to have the required clearance in due time. Further, the club assures all its fans that the ban will not affect the ongoing recruitment of players and preparations for the upcoming season,” the statement read.
East Bengal’s string of troubles
The situation, however, is a little complicated on East Bengal’s front. The club is already in a tussle with Shree Cements over a power struggle with the final term sheet yet to be signed. And then comes this transfer ban to make things even worse.
Now Shree Cements have even maintained that they would not pay the remaining dues for Acosta because that Quess Corp. was East Bengal’s chief investor when the Costa Rican was signed.
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Moreover, the club has similar pending cases involving former players such as CK Vineeth and Eugeneson Lyngdoh. Overall the club’s troubles are likely to outweigh them in future if they don’t take necessary action anytime soon.