Athletico De Kolkata top brass once again was forced to reconsider bringing Mohammed Rafique back into their squad after the East Bengal striker struck a solid goal against Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting in the semifinal of Sheikh Kamal International Gold Cup championship on Wednesday. After their ASEAN Cup triumph in 2002, East Bengal once again ensured its berth in the final of an international football tournament.
One of the senior ATK executives, speaking on condition of anonymity on Wednesday night, said, “Yes, we are discussing the matter with our coach Antonio Habas if Rafique can be brought back into our team. He has been in consistent form right from the beginning of the Kolkata Premier Football league this season.”
the striker however, did not seem to be much bothered on the issue. Rather he seems be bearing the same pain when he was ignored by ATK this season in spite of having struck the winner in the ISL final against Kerala Blasters last season. While speaking on the occasion from Chattagram on Wednesday, Rafique said, “My job is to score and I have done this. And at the moment I am only thinking about the final. We have reached the final. So we must have the last laugh by winning the final against Chattagram Abahoni also. It is up to ATK whether they will call me again. At the moment I am not concerned about the matter.”
Simultaneously, Rafique has denied that he has already received any proposal from the ATK top officials to join the franchise team. East Bengal striker explained, “I have not yet received any concrete proposal from the franchise club. Rather I have only heard that they are again thinking about my case. And another thing, if ATK wants to me join them, they will have to talk to East Bengal club as I will have to get release officially from the club. Otherwise how can I join the team?”