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Rift widens as East Bengal club sponsors refuse to toe officials line

Rift widens as East Bengal club sponsors refuse to toe officials line
Highlights

The rift within the East Bengal football club has widened further after the I-League clubs’ meeting with the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF)...

New Delhi (IANS): The rift within the East Bengal football club has widened further after the I-League clubs' meeting with the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) disciplinary committee on Sunday with regards to their participation in the Super Cup. While club official Debabrata Sarkar said that it was a mistake to withdraw from the tournament, main sponsors Quess have begged to differ.

Speaking to IANS, a senior Quess official said that they aren't aware of any such statement from the club official wherein the club has regretted the decision to withdraw from the tournament.

"We haven't issued any statement, and if we issue one then it will go to all parties concerned," the official said.

Sarkar on his part had said: "We committed a mistake and other clubs also committed mistakes. As national body of the game, the AIFF is like our parents and just like parents treat their children, the AIFF should not take action against the clubs in this case," he had said.

In fact, the Quess official found support from a senior official at Gokulam FC. The club is also facing disciplinary action for non-participation in the Super Cup. But the official clarified that there was no reason to call the decision a mistake.

The official went on to add that irrespective of what Sarkar had said to the media after the meeting in the Capital, Quess chairman Ajit Issac has nowhere mentioned that the team made a mistake and the decision was regrettable.

"Ajit has not said anything like this. Also, we have no comment to offer on a statement made by an official of the club. And it is not that we didn't want to participate in the Super Cup. We were forced to withdraw (as AIFF chief Praful Patel did not meet the I-League clubs)," the official told IANS.

Gokulam FC was one of the three teams - the other two being Minerva Punjab FC and Aizawl FC - who did not play in the qualifying matches of the tournament despite being present at the venue in Bhubaneswar.

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