AIFF cannot pressurise clubs to release players for SAFF Cup: Kushal Das

AIFF cannot pressurise clubs to release players for SAFF Cup: Kushal Das

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das has stated that they cannot pressurise clubs to release players for the SAFF Cup preparatory camp since the tournament is not recognized by AFC. This comes days after Bengaluru FC refused to let go of their players for the national team camp ahead of the tournament.

Just two months after some Indian Super League (ISL) clubs raised a controversy by refusing to release players for India's preparatory camp for the World Cup Qualifiers, the I-league club also has joined the chorus. Bengaluru FC, who won the Federation Cup earlier this year, have cited fatigue as the reason behind this decision.

In the letter written to AIFF, Bengaluru FC have mentioned the facts that Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh have played 52, 51 and 48 matches respectively since January this year. The Blues have claimed that the players require rest after their participation in the ISL and that these nine players are yet to receive the chance to train with the club, despite the I-League being scheduled to start on January 9.

The AIFF general secretary has insisted that AIFF cannot force to clubs to release the players since the SAFF Cup, scheduled to start from December 23 at Trivandrum, is not an AFC recognized tournament.

“As per the FIFA rules, the clubs have the right to release footballers only four days before an international tie. Now the club have agreed to release players five days before the match.

"Moreover, the SAFF Cup is not an AFC recognised tournament. The federation cannot put pressure on the clubs," Kushal Das told The Telegraph.

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