Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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ISL 2024-25: Anwar Ali joins East Bengal on permanent transfer after one-year loan at Mohun Bagan

As the 2024-25 season in Indian football begins with the Durand Cup on July 27, the clubs are busy preparing their squads in time for the tournament.

Meanwhile, Indian National team defender Anwar Ali is understood to have crossed over to the other side of Kolkata football, signing for Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s arch-rival East Bengal after completing a one-year loan with the Mariners. The centre-back completed his move to the Red-and-Gold Brigade last night, signing a five-year contract.

Anwar Ali was caught in a transfer quandary with Mohun Bagan. He has plied his trade with the Mariners since last season, moving to Kolkata on a four-year loan from Delhi FC.

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However, according to the new regulatory framework set by FIFA, a player cannot be loaned for more than a year, as a result of which, he was mandated to finish his loan spell by the end of next season.

FIFA approved the rules in March 2022, at the 72nd Congress in Doha. However, it gave time for clubs around the world to adopt the regulations.

“At the domestic level, FIFA’s member associations will be granted a period of three years to implement rules for a loan system that is in line with the principles established at the international level,” it said in a statement.

In Anwar’s context, that window would have finished next year. The player thus wrote to the club terminating the loan early and sought a permanent move – one that ultimately could not materialise.

Anwar was a member of the India side that played in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He made his senior team debut in March 2022 and has become a National team mainstay, alongside Sandesh Jhingan as the centre-back combination.

He has won three trophies with the Blue Tigers so far, the Tri-Nations tournament, the Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship.

At the club level, he was crucial for Mohun Bagan in the 2023-24 season, playing 26 times for the club – with three goals and one assist – and winning the Durand Cup and the Indian Super League Shield.

Anwar would be East Bengal’s eighth signing before the season begins. The club has already signed Dimitrios Diamantakos (Golden Boot winner in the Indian Super League last season), David Lalhansanga (Durand Cup 2023’s highest goal scorer), Madih Talal and Debjit Majumder among notable signings.

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