BY ATANU MITRA
Mohammedan Sporting, who are pondering over a bid for a Kolkata franchisee in the much awaited Indian Super League (ISL), are yet to pay-off Tolgay Ozbey’s dues.
The Australian striker parted ways with the Kolkata club during the winter break and joined the Golden Eagles, where he has regained his old form under the tutelage of Arthur Papas. However, the Mohammedan chapter in Ozbey's career is not yet over, courtesy an article in the termination clause.
“The player is at liberty to sign and play for any other club of his choice, but cannot play any matches in any tournament against our club for season 2013-14,” reads point 3 of the termination agreement between Ozbey and Mohammedan.
“The above is subject to realisation of cheques as mentioned in point 3 above,” it further states.
While Ozbey has chosen to keep mum, according to sources close to the player, Mohammedan owe him over 400000 INR. This was despite the player honouring his part of the agreement by not playing against the Black and Whites in the Federation Cup back in January. The player could also report the matter to the world governing body for football, FIFA.
Mohammedan officials have a different tale to tell as they claimed that it was Ozbey who hasn’t been responding to their repeated attempts to communicate.
“Yes, I know a cheque has bounced. But that’s a small cheque of 150000 INR! We also had the settlement that we would pay him the airfares for one of his journeys and from that one only has bounced.
“Tolgay has earned an amount of 40 lakhs (4000000 INR) from the club and why would we bother to hold back so less money? We have tried to contact him by all means, calling him repeatedly and sending messages, but he has not replied to anything. How do we know what does he want now? If he talks to us, we will surely solve the issue. But if he opts to go to FIFA, we will also take necessary actions,” Mohammedan official Mohammed Qamaruddin told Goal when quizzed on the issue.
It is utterly shocking as to how the Mohammedan official dismissed the bouncing of cheque, which is a criminal offence in India as a ‘small’ matter.
The Football Players' Association of India (FPAI) have already intervened and had a meeting with Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed (Raju), the assistant eneral secretary of the club in question and were assured that the said issue would be resolved soon. However there hasn’t been much progress since then.
“I don't know what's the use of trying to call Tolgay. Is Mohammedan going to offer him a new contract for the next season? No, right? Then they can't use this as an excuse of not paying money. The bottom line is that they have to pay Tolgay the dues. They have all the bank details and they could have straight away deposited the money to the account. Every week they promise to pay in the next week," informed Cyrus Confectioner, a senior FPAI official.
Dempo will lock horns with Mohammedan in Goa on 22nd of this month and whether the player plays against his former side is yet to be decided upon.
Confectioner mentioned that only the All India Football Federation (AIFF) can reverse the order in favour of Ozbey and Dempo.
"When Mohammedan released Tolgay, they had also sent a letter to AIFF about the clause. AIFF sent another letter to Dempo informing the same. Now, if that clause has to be reversed, AIFF will have to send another letter. The FPAI has no part to play in this ruling and if AIFF gets to know about it, they will decide whether Tolgay can play next week's match or not," he explained.
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