A FULL FLEDGED SCANDAL is brewing in the Maidan regarding the transfer of left winger Abhinas Ruidas.
The 21 year old who came out of the youth system of Mohun Bagan, caught a big break when he was signed by East Bengal.
After an impressive performance in the Calcutta Football League, Ruidas made his debut in the I-League in the 2014-15 season, and his consistent performance for the club immediately earned him a shot at playing for the India U-23 team for whom he has made 3 appearances so far. He also played for Atletico de Kolkata in ISL 2016 on a loan deal.
But this summer, controversy started boiling when Ruidas and East Bengal landed in dispute over his contract. East Bengal claimed he was contracted with them for another 2 years, but Ruidas insisted that his contract expired after the 2016-17 season. Reports emerged of him entertaining rumours from Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting for the next season.
This is not the first time East Bengal have landed in contract dispute. A recent example was that of Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey who got into a similar dispute with East Bengal when making a move to Mohun Bagan. Tolgay was vindicated on that occasion and he went on to play for the Mariners.
Stressing that he was a free player, Ruidas openly challenged East Bengal to prove that he was still in contract with them. He claimed that despite repeatedly asking the club to show him any paperwork proving his contracted status with the Red and Golds, the club officials refused to comply. The player even shot off a formal complaint to the AIFF regarding this matter, and the Disciplinary Committee is presently looking into the case.
But recently two more developments have taken the matter further. In Kolkata, Ruidas suddenly turned up for the medical check-ups scheduled for the players participating in the ISL Draft. He claimed that he was assured by his agent that this would be a good move for him.
At the same time, representatives of East Bengal reportedly turned up at the office of Indian Football Association (West Bengal) to get submit contract papers that they claim proves that Ruidas has 2 more years still to play at the club, and they expect to register him in their squad for the upcoming Calcutta Football League.
The papers will likely be forwarded to AIFF, and until the Federation comes back with a verdict, the young winger's fate will hang in balance. One thing is clear: either he or the East Bengal officials are not being honest, and whoever is proved to be in the wrong may face strong punishment from AIFF.
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