The governing body has confirmed that it has received letters from the former head coach and several other players.

It goes without saying that the global Coronavirus outbreak has already taken a toll on football all across the world, with the situation not expected to return to a state of normalcy anytime in the foreseeable future. In India, conditions are not much different – and the newly-formed Hyderabad FC, which features in the Indian Super League (ISL) is the latest club to fall from grace after some players and the former head coach complained to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that they have not been paid their wages this year.

Hyderabad FC marked their debut in the ISL in the recently concluded 2019-20 season and finished last in the 10-team competition. They played their final game on February 20, 2020 – it has been two months since then, but some of their players and Phil Brown, who was sacked as head coach in January, are yet to receive their due payments, as reported by the Hindustan Times.

“The foreign players are in discussion because all the payments from Hyderabad FC happened with delays of two or three months. Of course, it is understandable because it is a new franchise. The point is: all the deadlines have been told with lies and now with the Coronavirus outbreak, they said it is not possible to make any payment. We know the bank is open and working normally,” a foreign player, who requested anonymity was quoted as saying by the Indian news agency.

“The players are in a difficult situation with quarantine and trying to find a solution,” he added further.

Further, it was a federation official who revealed that Phil Brown, who formerly coached Hull City for three seasons, has written to the AIFF separately.

“Brown’s letter reached the AIFF nearly a fortnight ago. The players wrote to the federation at the end of the season also saying they haven’t been paid since the turn of the year,” the official said.

The ISL ended on March 14 with the final in Goa between winners ATK and Chennaiyin FC played behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Times also reported that an unnamed Hyderabad FC player, who wrote to the AIFF, told them that he along with a few of his teammates wrote to the federation following advice from representatives of the ISL.

“It was on the advice of people in the ISL that we wrote to the AIFF. They told us that the only way to get support from the AIFF and the ISL is to go to them,” he said.

Kushal Das, the General Secretary of AIFF later admitted that the federation has received letters from Phil Brown and a few players of the club. “Yes, we have received letters from some players and Phil Brown and we have reached out to Hyderabad FC who have sought time,” he said, before adding a warning:

“I am hopeful the franchise will sort this out. If they don’t and we hear from the players and Brown again, we will take action.”

According to the report, Hyderabad FC is yet to respond to the claim of the players and their former coach, with regards to payments not being cleared. However, Nitin Pant, the club’s Chief Operating Officer did hint that the global pandemic has caused them a few problems.

“Under the extraordinary circumstances that has resulted after the COVID-19 outbreak, Hyderabad FC is in consultation with the concerned parties and the AIFF regarding any matters there may be. Considering the current scenario, we believe it will be right to comment on it at a more appropriate time,” Pant said.

At the same time, Brown reportedly refused to comment when he was contacted on his mobile phone in England.

Hindustan Times claims that the 60-year-old, who was sacked after the 1-3 loss to Chennaiyin FC on January 10, has written that the club owe him salary till May as part of their 10-month contract.

A former Bolton Wanderers star, Brown was formerly the head coach of FC Pune City which wound up last August. The disbanded franchise then transferred participating rights to Hyderabad FC, after which he joined a few players as they shifted to the new team.

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