The transfer saga of winger Abinash Ruidas seems to be taking new dimensions with each passing day as the Indian Football Association insisting that the player will have to represent East Bengal or face disciplinary action only for the All India Football Federation to step in and make it clear to the state association that they have no jurisdiction over the matter.
The letter written by AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das to IFA Secretary Utpal Ganguli, a copy of which is with The Field, clearly stated that, “Article 3 read with Article 38 of the AIFF Regulations directs that any dispute related to a player’s status and/or dispute between Clubs and Players shall be referred to the AIFF.
“Thus in terms of these binding Regulations, it is beyond the authority of the IFA to determine the status of Mr. Abinash Ruidas, particularly when the subject matter is not within the parameters of “Local Transfer” of IFA. Any decision making process in the instant subject issue by the ‘Standing Players’ Status Sub-Committee’ of IFA would be erroneous and unsustainable, apart from the same being in breach of the covenants undertaken by IFA as an affiliated State Member of the AIFF.
In the premises, you are hereby requested not to proceed any further with determining or adjudicating the disputed issue of status, as above, having far reaching consequences and forward all papers and documents forthwith to AIFF so as to enable the AIFF to adjudicate the same in accordance with the law, as expeditiously as possible,” the letter added.
Earlier the IFA had stated that he would have to play for East Bengal, even as the winger has hired a Mumbai-based law firm and sought AIFF’s intervention.
The state football body at its hearing today referred the case to its disciplinary committee and its secretary Utpal Ganguli said, “Ruidas has to play for East Bengal”.
In a missive to the IFA Players status sub-committee, Vidushpat Singhania of Krida Legal had requested the state body to dismiss the present case for “want of jurisdiction” and refer the present dispute to AIFF which is the “proper forum”.
Ganguli, however, dismissed the letter and said: “We are not taking that into consideration.” Ruidas was signed by Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC at its players draft but East Bengal have claimed that the footballer still had a contract of two more seasons.
Ruidas claimed that he never signed for East Bengal for 2017-18 and they have “forged” his signature. Writing on behalf of Ruidas, Singhania, Nitin Mittal and Gautam Karhadkar have mentioned that the IFA players status sub-committee does not possess the requisite jurisdiction to deal with the present dispute.
“IFA is a member of the AIFF and bound by the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of AIFF, AFC and FIFA,” the letter stated.
“Therefore it’s abundantly clear that IFA is subject to the rules, regulation and jurisdiction of AIFF and is bound to abide by them.”
(with inputs from PTI)