Kolkata giants East Bengal have activated the ‘Force Majeure’ clause and told players that their contracts are being prematurely terminated.
The remaining matches of the 2019-20 I-League season were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic with East Bengal’s arch-rivals Mohun Bagan being confirmed as champions as they had already secured the title mathematically.
Despite objections from East Bengal over the cancellation of the remainder of the season and handing Mohun Bagan the title, the All India Federation decided to cancel the rest of the season as resuming it was not safe due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
It was earlier reported that most I-League clubs would hold back the salaries of the players and the staff for the months of April and May as no football would be played in those months.
Most I-League clubs had paid salaries to the players up to the months of March. Foreign players of several I-League and Second Division League teams are stuck in India due to the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus with the clubs baring their costs.
Mohun Bagan will merge with Indian Super League side ATK in June and will ply its trade in the ISL which is now the top division of Indian football.
East Bengal, who are set to be without a sponsor come April 30 after the end of their deal with Quess, are trying to follow their arch-rivals into the ISL but are sweating it out over a new sponsor that would enable them to pay the franchise fees required to gain entry into the ISL.