The issues surrounding the transfer of Joby Justin from East Bengal to ATK took another ugly turn on Sunday when the footballer in desperation wrote to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and asked them to intervene and help resurrect his personal and professional life.
In the letter, accessed by IANS, Justin made it clear that after his contract with East Bengal ended on May 31, he hadn't signed any further agreement and had signed with ATK for three seasons. He said that he is seeking justice as he has been under tremendous mental trauma thanks to the turn of events.
"This is in respect of my contract I signed with ATK for next 3 seasons commencing from the 2019-20 season. My contract with East Bengal ended on May 31 and I have not signed any other agreement relating to my professional career. I have been requesting my previous club East Bengal to issue NOC.
"However till date I have not received the same and as you are aware the registration window opens on June 9. I seek your intervention and request you to kindly look into the matter and provide justice to me," he wrote.
"I had made this clear to Indian Football Association (IFA) during my meeting with them in April along with my agent. However to my surprise and shock, I have seen a media article where IFA secretary arbitrary without taking into consideration statement by me is making statement to media that I have signed with East Bengal and should play for East Bengal. I say under oath that I have signed with ATK only and want to play for ATK only."
"No, it is not that we will allow him to go. IFA has said that he has to play for us. IFA has already given its verdict. We will also have to see what AIFF says. Ore to ekta sikkha howa dorkar (he also needs to learn a lesson). On one hand he is signing with us and then again he says he hasn't signed. Is this right?" he asked IANS.
But there is hope for Justin if he has only given a token to East Bengal. A senior AIFF official said that talks of Justin giving East Bengal the token wouldn't work as AIFF follows FIFA guidelines. So, if Justin has indeed signed with ATK, he will have to honour that. But the official also made it clear that the final call stays with the disciplinary committee.
"The token system doesn't exist anymore as AIFF goes by FIFA's policy. So, the contract that he signed will have to be honoured. Let us see what the disciplinary committee says on the matter," the official told IANS.
(Jagannath Chatterjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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