The Costa Rican defender’s representative lashed out at the Kolkata outfit’s strange behaviour towards the player of late.

Former East Bengal star Johnny Acosta has been left hugely disappointed by his former employers because of how they mishandled his situation after the I-League season was cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Acosta was signed back by East Bengal during the winter transfer window and could only play a few games after returning. He was contracted till the end of the season, but the club’s investor ‘Quess’ decided to invoke the ‘Force Majeure’ clause, which meant they only payed the players till April.

The Costa Rica defender’s agent Jose Luis Rodriguez has slammed East Bengal’s action for being unable to sympathise with his situation. Acosta was not paid his wages and was in fact forced to vacate his apartment which was rented by Quess last month. He is currently staying at the Costa Rican embassy in Delhi, but having to pay everything on his own.

Rodriguez voiced frustration at how East Bengal handled the situation and opened up in a conversation with the Indian Express. “No one had control over this situation. At least we were expecting the club to behave properly and be caring in a moment like this.”

“The contract says the club is responsible for flight tickets from Costa Rica to Kolkata and from there back home. It doesn’t say price or amount, but says the club is responsible to send the player back home.

“Their behaviour was surprising. Johnny’s first experience was nice, they delivered everything that was on the contract and that is why he chose to come here. But this time… (they behaved differently)”

“It was strange behaviour. The club was asking him to return the keys but was not buying him tickets. We refused to return anything in a situation like this. Did they expect Johnny to live on the streets?”

East Bengal secretary Kalyan Majumdar refused to take responsibility for this grave situation, suggesting that the club had ‘nothing to do with Acosta’s contract’ as he made a deal with Quess.

“His contract was not with us, it was with Quess. As far as we are concerned, Johnny Acosta has gone back to Costa Rica, he can do whatever he wants,” said the East Bengal official.

The CEO of Quess Corporation, Ajit Isaac refused to speak on the matter now that his company’s alliance with the club has broken. He said, “We have nothing to do with the club so I am not taking any questions on this.”

Moreover, Acosta’s agent confirmed that he should return home soon, after which they will consider taking his case to FIFA in order to derive everything which the club still owes to him. “He is sleeping at the embassy now and will take a flight back home on Saturday hopefully. The embassy helped with all the logistics but Johnny paid for everything,” said Rodriguez.

“The main focus for us is to bring Johnny home. He has not received his payment for two months, so most likely we are going to go to FIFA to fight it there. Our lawyers will take care of that,” he added.

It’s been a while now that East Bengal have dissolved their partnership with Quess, but their decision to refuse to pay a number of high-profile players is going to cause legal problems for both parties. As the Red & Gold Brigaders still hope for a spot in the ISL next season, these controversies definitely won’t help their case at all.

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