The President of the association stated that ‘it is wrong to come out in support of any one club.’
The Football Players Association of India (FPAI) came up with a surprising move on Friday by taking up East Bengal’s case for being included in the Indian Super League (ISL) next season. The association sent a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das as well as Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL), pleading with them to set aside differences and promote the side into India’s top league.
FPAI’s General Secretary Cyrus Confectioner wrote in the letter: “We, the association, sincerely urge you to include East Bengal into the ISL without any hesitation or delay.”
“It is rich in history and is one of the oldest and most premier clubs having a massive fan-following, something which the sport needs for it to grow and thrive in India.”
“All the powers that be in Indian football, should set aside all differences and include this side, whose contribution to Indian football cannot be quantified.”
However, in a stunning development, the President of the FPAI and acclaimed former Indian national team star Renedy Singh, denied his involvement in organizing this letter in his reply to the AIFF.
In his letter, he wrote: “It seems that the letter to AIFF and FSDL, with regards to East Bengal joining the ISL, sent by the FPAI, has created some unnecessary controversy among certain stakeholders and also members of the press.”
“I would also like to take this opportunity to inform all concerned that I was not taken into consideration, on the sending of such a letter and it is wrong to come out in support of any one particular club, as we are here only to support the players.
“The clubs should settle their matters internally with the Federation and FSDL regarding their participation in the ISL or any other league for that matter.”
This comes after it was revealed recently that FSDL had decided to keep the upcoming ISL season as a 10-team affair, ruling out East Bengal’s involvement from it. Das also made it clear that the Red and Gold were given enough time to complete the process for participation in the ISL, but their problems with gaining a sponsor and internal issues with former investors Quess Corp scuppered their opportunity to do so.
The Red and Gold have even received support from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has backed their participation into India’s top league. But, as their arch-rivals Mohun Bagan will make their ISL bow next season after merging with ATK, East Bengal’s dream to do the same is slipping away with every passing day.