I-League club East Bengal FC is facing a potential transfer ban from FIFA over the unpaid dues of their former player Katsumi Yusa. The Kolkata side, reportedly, owes the Japanese midfielder a sum of ₹17 Lakhs according to Badgeb. FIFA would invoke a transfer ban on East Bengal FC if the Red and Gold Brigade fails to pay the full amount to Katsumi within 45 days.
The 31-year-old initially signed with the club on a two-year contract in 2017. However, Quess Corporation Ltd, their new investors in 2018 didn’t want to retain Katsumi for the forthcoming season.
The Japanese accepted the offer from another I-League club NEROCA and signed with them. But, East Bengal refused to give him a No Objection Certificate (NOC). Katsumi took the matters to FIFA and the global body directed East Bengal to allow him to represent the Manipuri-based side in the I-League. However, they didn’t clear his dues from the 2017-18 season.
This won’t be the first time the Kolkata giants would be served a transfer ban if they fail to clear Katsumi’s dues. In 2018, East Bengal roped Sukhdev Singh from Minerva Punjab despite the defender having another year left with the former I-League champions.
The AIFF imposed a one-season transfer ban on them and they couldn’t sign their sixth foreign player on time. It ultimately proved to be costly for East Bengal as they lost the title race by one point to Chennai City FC.
East Bengal is facing plenty of problems this season. With Quess Corporation Ltd not interested in extending their contract, the Red and Golds need to find a sponsor for their next season urgently.
Their performance in the I-League, too, has not been up to the mark as they have only 15 points from 12 games in their bag, 14 points adrift from the table-toppers and their arch-rivals Mohun Bagan.