The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has sought clarification from Kolkata giants East Bengal and their investors Quess Corp regarding the reported exit of Quess from the club, Goal can confirm.
Senior Quess officials have made it clear in the past few months that they are in the process of disinvesting from East Bengal after the end of the 2019-20 season. The Bengaluru-based business service provider and East Bengal had formed a joint venture in 2018 called 'Quess East Bengal Football Club Private Limited' (QEBFCPL) with 70 per cent of the stakes held by Quess and the remaining by East Bengal.
The sporting rights, as a result, were with QEBFCPL. However, there is no clarity as to how Quess' exit will affect the transfer of sporting rights. Multiple reports have emerged, speculating whether Quess will allow the sporting rights to be transferred back to East Bengal from QEBFC or will they seek a compensation for the same.
In the absence of the club not obtaining the sporting rights, they will not be able to field a team in any recognised competition. Taking the reports into cognizance, the Indian FA has sought a clarification on the issue from both parties.
With the club licensing procedure for the 2020-21 season about to start soon, the AIFF is believed to want clarity on such issues.
The AIFF has made it clear that in the event of QEBFCPL being dissolved and the sporting rights is being transferred back to East Bengal, a duly authorised representative and signatory of QEBFCPL should confirm and acknowledge the same in writing that QEBFCPL is aware of the development and that they have no objection.
Apart from such an official confirmation in writing, the AIFF has also stated that in the case of a mutual termination of the joint venture, a copy of the termination document should be presented before it.
The Indian FA is believed to have pointed out how East Bengal's joint venture with Kingfisher was dissolved after United Spirits furnished a signed letter stating that they have transferred the sporting rights back to the club.
Only once the AIFF and AFC are satisfied with the same, the transfer of sporting rights would be approved.