Jobby Justin’s feud with East Bengal gets uglier, club denies NOC

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Jobby Justin’s feud with East Bengal gets uglier, club denies NOC

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SportsCafe Desk


Forward Jobby Justin’s transfer saga has yet another negative development as he wrote a letter to the AIFF to request them to take action against East Bengal’s denial to issue him a NOC. The player claims to have signed for ISL side ATK but East Bengal maintains he is still under their contract.

It has not been a good few months for Jobby Justin off the field, even though he shone last season and attracted attention, before eventually getting picked to the national camp. He had racked up 9 goals and 4 assists in 17 appearances for the Red and Golden Brigade in the I-League last season, which meant many other Indian clubs were circling around for him.

However, with his contract set to end on May 31, it was reported that he had signed for Indian Super League side ATK for the next three seasons. And, it has since been claimed that Justin has been bound by the token system to keep plying his trade for East Bengal, who have subsequently refused to give him clearance to join ATK.

The token system has been an archaic and outdated system used in Bengal, where a physical token is considered to be conclusive proof of a player’s registration with a club. So long as the club is in possession of the token, the player is contractually bound to play for that club. This has prompted the player to write to the AIFF. 

“This is in respect of my contract I signed with ATK for next three seasons commencing from the 2019-20 season. My contract with East Bengal ended on May 31 and I have not signed any other agreement relating to my professional career. I have been requesting my previous club East Bengal to issue NOC. 

"However, till date, I have not received the same and as you are aware the registration window opens on June 9. I seek your intervention and request you to kindly look into the matter and provide justice to me,” he wrote, according to IANS.

“I had made this clear to Indian Football Association (IFA) during my meeting with them in April along with my agent. However, to my surprise and shock, I have seen a media article where IFA secretary arbitrary without taking into consideration my statement is making a statement to media that I have signed with East Bengal and should play for East Bengal. I say under oath that I have signed with ATK only and want to play for ATK only” he had said of the matter.

The I-League club, however, is adamant in keeping the emerging star as a player for their club. 

“No, it is not that we will allow him to go. IFA has said that he has to play for us. IFA has already given its verdict. We will also have to see what AIFF says. He also needs to learn a lesson. On one hand, he is signing with us and then again he says he hasn’t signed," the club’s secretary Kalyan Majumdar told IANS.

However, if the player has indeed signed with ATK while only having a token from East Bengal, the player should ideally be allowed to play for the ISL team since AIFF follows FIFA guidelines which consider contracts to be obligatory and binding and does not recognize the token system. However, the final decision currently rests upon the disciplinary committee.

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