7/9/2018 11:21:28 PM (GMT+3)

Dishonesty is a part and parcel of Calcutta football clubs, says Dudu

Dishonesty is a part and parcel of Calcutta football clubs, says Dudu

HELSINKI, Finland: Former East Bengal striker Dudu Omagbemi allegedly blamed the East Bengal club for being unprofessional and dishonest.

The Nigerian, who's a Finnish resident, opened up in an exclusive interview with www.khelupdates.com here on his two-month stint at the red and gold team, who finished fourth in last season’s I-League.

Why didn’t the club retain you after such an impressive short-term season with them?

I wasn’t shocked. The conspiracy was brewing even before I had joined them. One of my team-mates had told me that if the team failed to win the league, they would put all the blame on me. I scored plenty of goals and that kept them shut.

But after the season, the fans were surprised that I wasn’t retained. They demanded an explanation from the officials who then cooked up a story, scripted and edited by their officials.

I was contracted for only two months. After the tournament, the officials had ‘bribed’ a couple of their fans to spread the rumour that the club couldn’t retain me as I’m an expensive player. It was rumoured that East Bengal had contracted me for INR 30 lacs, which was a blatant lie. We had agreed for 16 lacs, but they paid only nine after the season.

So, they didn’t clear your entire dues?

No. When I had asked for transport expenses, they deducted 16,000 towards electricity bills. That was so cheap on their part. The officials ‘bribed’ a couple of their fans to spread the rumour that I was paid INR16 lacs for a two-month deal, which isn’t correct.

Why do you think such malpractices happen in Indian clubs?

I don’t know why the clubs’ choose a path of dishonesty. There’s no need to do this kind of silly things. Even one of the former East Bengal players from Goa, who’s an unofficial agent now, cheated me. The falsification of contracts brings a bad name to Indian football in Europe and elsewhere. The collusion of officials and ex-players has tarnished the image of their clubs. That’s sad for the sport in India.

Did you ever think you won’t be retained at East Bengal?

I scored 13 goals from 11 matches. It was natural that the tournament’s top-scorer and team’s most successful player will be retained or at least given an extended deal. Even the supporters were shocked that I wasn’t retained by the club. To keep them off, they played a dirty game by involving this former player.

What’s your next destination?

I don’t know. It all depends on the deals and clubs that I get. I’ve never fought with any Indian clubs. I kept quiet and settled for what I got and returned to Helsinki. But if ever I get an offer from Calcutta teams, I will think twice before I sign for them.

I was signed for East Bengal because one of their senior players had convinced the coach that I could help them win the I-League. I only played 11 matches and I did what I could do. Football is a team game and I’m not a magician.

What’s the difference between clubs in Goa and Calcutta?

Dishonesty is a part and parcel of Calcutta teams, who cheat players on contractual clauses and threaten the juniors on payments.

I still don’t know and never could understand why they sign average foreigners. And I still couldn’t fathom why they’ve a blind faith on some of their officials who recommend them.

Goan clubs are much better, but it’s really sad to see teams like Dempo and Salgaocar shut their shops. As of today, barring Bengaluru FC, I don’t see any other teams have a good reputation in terms of professionalism and positive attitude.