The Player Status Committee of the All India Football Federation has ruled that Pune-based DSK Shivajians and Kolkata’s Southern Samity will have to pay the outstanding amounts owed to their players as part of last season’s wages within a month or face sanction.
The Committee met in New Delhi on Thursday to deliberate on the complaints of player and had asked the AIFF to send notices to each of these clubs. DSK’s monetary troubles are well-documented and the Punekars have already pulled out of the I-League.
Shirish Kulkarni of DSK DSK Group, had made no light of the financial duress that the conglomerate was under during an I-League clubs meeting at the AIFF House in July and said, “I will play the league but with my academy players.”
The players were said to be unhappy with club management and the academy staff had gone on strike as well, citing unpaid wages. The Stallions had first appeared in the I-League in 2015, where they finished last in their first season, but were immune from relegation, meaning Aizawl FC were relegated instead.
The next season, while Aizawl were reinstated and went onto win the league, DSK finished seventh and were the only team to beat eventual winners Bengaluru FC at the Federation Cup.
Calcutta Football League club Southern Samity have also been pulled up for irregularities in paying their players. The club, at one point a I-League division II club, has pulled out of their last two CFL matches this season and has not submitted squads for the two games.
Should both the clubs fail to pay up within a month, the Football Players Association of India is considering approaching FIFA on the issues but say that they were willing to wait, due to the ongoing preparations for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Additionally, they say they will push for a points deduction or a mandate that these clubs be banned from playing next season, depending on the seriousness of the offence.
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