Former East Bengal player Abinash Ruidas has been granted a 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) by East Bengal to play for Indian Super League side Mumbai City, Goal can confirm.
The 21-year-old winger, who signed a two-year contract with East Bengal in 2015, had earlier stated his intentions to play for an Indian Super League club. However, the Kolkata giants insisted that he was still under contract with them as he had signed for the 2017-18 season as well.
The West Bengal-born youngster vehemently denied the claim and maintained that he was forced to sign a blank paper when he had initially signed the two-year-contract and the club had manipulated the same and forged his signatures.
While Ruidas went on to lodge a complaint with the AIFF, East Bengal approached IFA, West Bengal's state football association. AIFF went on to communicate to all parties that while the contractual dispute is being settled, Ruidas will remain a 'free player' and will be eligible to participate in the ISL Player Draft, where he was picked up by Mumbai City FC.
Subsequently, on 27th July 2017, Mumbai City FC approached East Bengal to obtain the No Objection Certificate (NOC) for Ruidas in order to register the player.
Meanwhile, IFA decided to adjudicate the issue through its Players Status Sub-Committee, discarding AIFF's directive not to interfere in the issue, after maintaining that Ruidas is registered under the IFA and East Bengal was one of its affiliated clubs.
On 28th July 2017, IFA ruled that Ruidas must play for East Bengal as the club is in possession of his 'Token' which is enough to legally register a player. It further said that AIFF cannot interfere in this matter as it was between two affiliated parties of the IFA.
AIFF then proceeded to constitute a Special Committee to ascertain the jurisdiction in the issue as the player was demanding to play for a club outside the state of West Bengal. The committee came to a conclusion that IFA overreached their jurisdiction by claiming that AIFF could not interfere in the issue.
The committee pointed out that AIFF's Constitution and the “AIFF Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players” is binding on all affiliated members, their affiliated units and players. And all of them are under obligations to comply with the regulations.
The committee also ruled that IFA's decision to allow East Bengal to register Ruidas on the grounds that possession of 'Token' provides the club with the legal right is erroneous since there was no valid, written, enforceable and binding contract to go with it, terming IFA's actions as 'unreasonable and unjust'.
The committee went on to state that until the contractual dispute is settled, Ruidas will be considered as a 'free player' who has the right to sign for any club.
The club has finally decided to grant the player the NOC that is required for him to take the field for his new ISL club.
Senior East Bengal officials remained unavailable for comment on the issue, when approached by Goal.