Indian football: Churchill Brothers in a fix over non-payment of dues to Sadat Bukari

Churchill Brothers are in a spot of bother after FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) has ruled in favour of Sadat Bukari who filed a case against the Goan club over non-payment of dues, Goal has learnt. 

Bukari was signed for the 2018-19 season but as Churchill could not make necessary arrangements to bring him in India, the player did not make a single appearance. 

The DRC has ruled that since the contract was signed and the player was willing to play, the club is obligated to pay his salary in its entirety for the contracted period.

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Churchill wanted to appeal against this decision in the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), an international quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport, but have missed the deadline to do so. When the club was contacted, they remained unavailable for a response.

Sadat Bukari
Sadat Bukari

A party must submit at least an "Intention to Appeal" within 21 days of the order, but the Varca-based club has not able to do so. Since they have not even filed an "Intention to Appeal" they cannot put in further petitions in the CAS against the order. 

It has been learnt that Churchill had written to CAS requesting them for a fresh window to file a suit but their plea has been rejected. 

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has come to the rescue of the former I-League champions and has also written to CAS, to grant a window where Churchill can re-appeal. Now it remains to be seen whether the international body chooses to accept AIFF's request and provide relief to Churchill Brothers. 

This is not the first time that Churchill has defaulted on payments to players. In 2013, the club was hauled up by AIFF's Players’ Status Committee for failing to pay their players. On that occasion, the Red machines were directed to clear all dues by December 31, 2013. 

Lately, non payment of salaries to players has been a subject of discussion in Indian football. The AIFF had pulled Hyderabad FC for non-payment of dues to foreigners recently, with the club given till May 15th to clear the dues.

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