The All India Football Federation (AIFF) asked East Bengal to inform them officially about their changed ownership to clear the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) licensing criteria after their separation from Quess Corp.
Quess Corp acquired a 70 per cent majority stake of the club in 2018 after which the red-and-gold brigade was called Quess East Bengal FC Pvt Ltd. There has been speculation over the transfer of the footballing rights back to East Bengal or whether the company will hold on to their shares to recover losses.
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The legal criteria for a club to apply for the AFC license requires the licence applicant to submit a legally valid declaration that clearly states the ownership structure and control mechanisms of the club.
“The letter has been sent to the (Quess) chairman. We are following it up. Our respective solicitor firms are looking into it,” a club official said. Reports have regularly suggested that officials at East Bengal have been at loggerheads with Quess ever since the company came on board.
East Bengal finished runners-up in the 2018-19 I-League, but their performance deteriorated in the 2019-2020 season, where they finished 16 points behind arch rivals Mohun Bagan in the shortened I-League season.
FIFA Rulebook and On-Field Activism
Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund scored a hat-trick and removed his jersey after his goals to display the 'Justice for George Floyd' message on his shirt.
Over the weekend Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho attracted huge attention celebrating a goal by removing his jersey to reveal a t-shirt with the words ‘Justice for George Floyd’ on them. His team-mate Achraf Hakimi also revealed a similar message after Dortmund's fourth goal of the game.
Sancho was immediately penalised for his action with a yellow card. The referee who penalized him was following global football rules which state players should be cautioned for removing their jersey while celebrating. Any messages on undergarments, from the political and religious to the personal, have been prohibited since 2014, although the penalty is left to each league to decide.
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The larger question though is what this means for messages that transcend sport and advocate real change. The blanket ruling denies the subjectivity of messaging, especially in a time of global societal change, one that athletes are yearning to be a part of.
“The booking of Jadon Sancho, or any other player, for making a statement in support of a man who has been unjustly killed is the wrong decision,” Piara Powar, executive director of football’s anti-discrimination Fare Network, told The Associated Press. “This is not a party-political cause, or an issue that poses a threat to football but an expression of concern and solidarity from minority players.”
The German FA said they will investigate the players over the messages. However, in a case in 2014, then Cologne player Anthony Ujah -- who paid tribute to Eric Garner following his killing -- was only issued a warning. “The DFB control body will attend to this issue in the coming days and scrutinise the circumstances of the case,” their statement read.
"Denying high-profile athletes an opportunity to express concern on big issues is neither correct nor can it be controlled in the post-Kaepernick era," Powar added.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback at the time, took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 in silent protest of police brutality and racism that kicked off a period of pregame activism in the NFL.
Misconduct Charges Against League Two Club
Macclesfield Town was charged with further misconduct by the English Football League (EFL) pertaining to payment of salaries due in March. Macclesfield has already been deducted 11 points this season for various offenses.
An EFL statement read: “Macclesfield Town has been issued with further misconduct charges for alleged breaches of EFL Regulations and will be ‘referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission’.
“The club has been charged with failing to pay a number of players on the applicable payment dates due in March 2020, whilst also failing to act with utmost good faith in respect of matters with the EFL and for breaching an order, requirement, direction or instruction of the league," a statement read.
A Macclesfield Town statement read: "Macclesfield Town can confirm that notification has been received from the English Football League, which charges the Club with further regulation breaches - all of which are relating to the payment of salaries due at the end of March 2020.
Three points above bottom club Stevenage, Macclesfield are unsure if they will be relegated from League Two this season. EFL clubs are set to vote on a final framework to end the season on 8 June.
Three Charlton Players Unwilling to Play
Lee Bowyer revealed Charlton’s talisman Lyle Taylor is one of three players who said they are not going to play in the Championship when it resumes.
The season is going to start on 20 June but the club’s top goalscorer has informed Bowyer that he does not wish to play since the fear of injury is going to threaten his chances of a ‘life-changing move’.
Bowyer has compared Taylor’s influence at the relegation-threatened club to that of Troy Deeney’s at Watford and expressed his disappointment. ‘Lyle is a big player for us, a bit like Deeney at Watford,’ the Charlton manager told TalkSport.
“When he plays, we win games and Lyle has said he is not going to play because of the risk of injury. Chris Solly said the same. And [David] Davis, who is on loan from Birmingham, said he does not want to come back and play. We are three players down but it’s just another hurdle. We’ve got another 22, 23 players that do want to play and that’s the most important thing now.”
QPR 'Appalled' by EFL Restart Plans
Queens Park Rangers’ chief executive Lee Hoos says the club is ‘appalled by’ and ‘vehemently opposed to’ the EFL’s plans of making a comeback on June 20. Hoos says there was ‘absolutely no consultation’ in this matter, claiming clubs got the news just before it came out on Sunday. "I am absolutely stunned by this announcement," he added.
No Championship fixtures have been played since sporting activities stopped on 8 March.
"Incredibly, there has been absolutely no consultation with individual clubs nor with the Championship doctors' working group by the divisional representatives - or anyone else in the Football League - regarding this matter," Hoos told the QPR website.
"Having spoken with our director of football Les Ferdinand and our manager Mark Warburton, they share my views. We are vehemently opposed to this schedule."
The EFL also added June 20 was supposed to be a provisional restart date and ‘subject to the strict proviso that all safety requirements and government guidance is met’.
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