Clubs agree to release footballers

In a day of high drama and changing stands, Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan intially refused to release their players but later said they would allow their footballers to join the national team if either of them release the players.

Goan side Dempo were the first club to allow all their nine players to join the national team though under the condition that they will be called back if other clubs refused to release even a single player.

In a development late in the day, East Bengal agreed to release key midfielder Mehtab Hossain, along with Baljit Singh Sahni, Raju Gaekwad and Robert Lalthlamuana.

“We have agreed to release Mehtab after the Indian Football Association (the state body) gave us the verbal assurance,” East Bengal Secretary Santosh Bhattacharya said.

Bagan followed suit with club General Secretary Anjan Mitra saying, “If East Bengal agree to release their players, my club will also release players.”

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