Costa Rican World Cupper Johnny Acosta has been forced to live in his country’s embassy in New Delhi for the last few days after I-League club East Bengal terminated his contract following the coronavirus pandemic and asked him to vacate the apartment given to him, the Indian Express reported on Thursday.
The report added that the Kolkata giants did not pay his salary or make any arrangements for the defender to return to his country.
The 36-year-old, who played in the 2014 and 2018 World Cup editions, had arrived in India in March this year for his second stint with East Bengal but all football activities were soon stopped due to the national lockdown announced by the government and the club opted for a ‘force majeure’ to terminate contracts with the players.
“It has been a very tough situation for Johnny. He was frustrated with the behaviour of the club. Now he is feeling better because he is at the embassy in Delhi, waiting for his humanitarian flight, most likely on Saturday,” his manager Jose Luis Rodriguez was quoted as saying by the paper.
“Johnny has played in two World Cups. He is a big player in Costa Rica. At least they could have shown some respect.
“The contract says the club is responsible for flight tickets from Costa Rica to Kolkata and from there back home. It doesn’t say price or amount, but says the club is responsible to send the player back home,” he added.
However, it seems the internal problems within the club have only complicated matters with the club and Quess Corporation, their former investor who formally terminated their contract on June 1.
East Bengal secretary Kalyan Mujumdar told the paper that Acosta’s contract was with Quess while the company chairman and Managing Director, Ajit Isaac, refused to answer any query on the subject saying they had nothing to do with the club anymore.
Acosta’s manager is hopeful that the player can take the flight out of India on Saturday, following which they would take up the matter with Fifa. “He has not received his payment for two months, so most likely we are going to go to FIFA to fight it there. Our lawyers will take care of that,” Rodriguez said.