East Bengal's promising young winger Abinash Ruidas is set to face disciplinary action after violating a code of conduct during the club's recent trip to Goa, where they defeated Churchill Brothers 2-0, earlier this week.
According to a source who had travelled with the team, the former Mohun Bagan academy product was caught drunk late in the night while making his way back to the hotel from a beach shack. A former India international, who'd also been part of East Bengal earlier in the decade, had invited him to the shack, the source said.
The player, who comes from a very modest background, even went on to miss the pre-match practice session due to a hangover, which obviously didn't go well with Trevor Morgan, the team's coach, or the officials travelling with the team. However, the Atletico de Kolkata player found a surprise saviour of grace in the U-22 rule, which says at least two U-22 players have to be part of the 18-man match-day squad.
Since the Kolkatans only had Nikhil Poojary and Ruidas as registered U-22 players in the match, there was no way Morgan could leave him out of the squad. Now, after the team's return to Kolkata on Friday, the top brass of the outfit have been briefed about the incident. Even though this would have led to a suspension in usual circumstances, the U-22 rule will turn out to be the saviour once again for the winger as the Kolkata League champions have only two youngsters in their squad for now.
This would mean that the Kolkata lad will have to pay a hefty fine, but will remain part of the coach's plans.
The Red and Golds will be hosting Bengaluru FC in the weekend in a fixture that can have a massive impact on the I-League title-race and it seems Morgan has little option but to start with Nikhil in that encounter too. It is worth noting that Ruidas had scored the only goal when the Kolkata giants had defeated the Blues last time in the league.