Three East Bengal players finally leave for Kuwait

Kolkata, Sep 29 (IANS) Three East Bengal footballers, who were held back here after visa problems, left for Kuwait via Dubai Sunday to take part in the away-leg of the AFC Cup semi-final outing against title holders Kuwait SC slated for Tuesday.

Three key footballers -- skipper Mehtab Hossain, Arnab Mondal and Gurwinder Singh -- could not accompany the rest of the squad Saturday and had to return from the NSC Bose International Airport here as their visa papers were yet to arrive.

The trio took the 8.30 p.m. Emirates Airlines Flight to Dubai Sunday.

"Their visa documents arrived earlier in the day. They all left alongside four other officials who also got stuck Saturday due to the same problem," club assistant general secretary Santi Ranjan Dasgupta told IANS.

An angry club secretary Kalyan Majumdar had earlier sent protest letters to the Asian Football Confederation and the All India Football Federation, seeking a probe into Saturday's happening, which he termed as a "conspiracy" to rattle the team.

East Bengal became only the second Indian club, after Dempo, to reach the AFC Cup semis with a 2-1 aggregate win over Indonesia's Semen Padang.

The return leg of the semi-final would be held here Oct 22. East Bengal would create an Indian history if they make the cut for the summit round.

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