Five East Bengal players including Abhishek Ambekar, Pintu Mahata and Rakshit Dagar have sent a notice to former sponsors Quess demanding salaries for months of April and May, The Telegraph reported.

Quess and East Bengal ended their association on May 31 and the players have written to the club threatening to terminate the contracts and claim compensation from the club.

As per a Fifa rule since June 1, 2018, a player can be deemed a free agent and can have full right to terminate their contract with the club if the club fails to pay salaries for two months on the due dates.

Read: Glorious past, uncertain future: Can East Bengal stay relevant in Indian football’s new landscape?

The football association then must announce without condition that he is a free agent with the right to terminate his contract without having to take the dispute to any arbitration body or disciplinary commission.

East Bengal had unilaterally decided to activate the force majeure clause and terminate the contracts of players due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The remainder of the I-League season was cancelled and the prize money was distributed among the teams.

Defender Ambekar and winger Mahata, like a few other Indian players and Spaniard Jaime Santos who had multiple-year contracts with the club, decided to protest against the decision.

According to the newspaper, East Bengal in a reply to the letter said the salaries would be remitted on an urgent basis once players sign the Mutual Termination Agreement.

However, more players are expected to send notices to the club once the salary would be due.