In April, 2018, Minerva Punjab FC had filed a complaint against East Bengal FC for illegally approaching the player, Mr. Sukhdev Singh who was already under an existing contract with Minerva Punjab FC till May 2019.
Minerva Punjab FC had complained that East Bengal FC had approached Mr. Sukhdev Singh directly without informing Minerva PFC and hence, were in violation of the provisions of Annexure III clause 2 of the AIFF Players’ Status Regulations according to which, “A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform the player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him. A professional shall only be free to conclude a contract with another club if his contract with his present club has expired or is due to expire within six months. Any breach of this provision shall be subject to appropriate sanctions.”
The matter was thus, immediately referred to the AIFF Players’ Status Committee which passed an order in the matter, the operative part of which, is provided below:
The AIFF Players’ Status Committee after examining the evidences placed on record before it, found East Bengal FC guilty of violating the provisions of Annexure III clause 2 of the AIFF Player Status Regulations. Hence, the committee imposed upon East Bengal FC, “a complete prohibition on registering any new player, until the expiry of the second transfer window following the date on which the breach became effective, being till the end of the first transfer window in the year 2019, under the provisions of Article 21(2) of the AIFF Players’ Status Regulations.”
However, the committee also found Mr. Sukhdev Singh, “guilty of committing a unilateral breach of his Agreement with MPFC without just cause” and thereby directed Mr. Sukhdev Singh to “serve a four-month ban from playing in any official matches organised by or under the aegis of AIFF, under the provisions of Article 21(1) of the AIFF Players’ Status Regulations.”
Mr. Sukhdev Singh was further directed to pay Rs. 50,000/- each to Minerva Punjab FC and AIFF as a one-time compensation and penalty respectively. The committee also allowed Mr. Sukhdev Singh to officially play for Mohun Bagan AC for the 2018-19 season, subject to the terms of the decision.
All the directions mentioned in the order would however, come into force from the date of the receipt of the order by the parties from AIFF i.e. from September 15, 2018.