Today a letter has been sent from Mohun Bagan club to AFC regarding an article which was published yesterday in the official website of AFC, www.the-afc.com.
Dated: 26th May 2009
Mr. Alex Soosay,
Acting General Secretary,
Asian Football Confederation,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
We have just come across a new article on your Official Website under the title “Bhutia blues for storied Bagan” and though the article mentions at the end states that “the views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AFC” but the fact that the article is on the Official Website of AFC has upset many of our members and millions of supporters spread all over the world.
I would like to clarify under what circumstances the Club was forced to show cause our captain Bhaichung Bhutia; which was no less painful for us than it was for the player.
• Bhaichung missed vital practice sessions of our Team during the ONGC I-League. He joined the Team for the last ONGC I-League match at New Delhi without attending the venue practice before this match.
• He played the Super Cup match at Gurgaon (match to ascertain the Champion Club of India) without attending the venue practice and arrived at 1:30 am in the morning of the match day.
• He refused to play the AFC Cup away match against Kuwait SC citing injury but later we found out that he had gone to Mumbai to participate in a dance reality show and showed no signs of injury when the program was telecast later on TV
• He did not attend practice sessions of the Team at Amman, Jordan for the away match earlier this month against Al Wehdat in the AFC Cup and reached Amman at 1 am in the morning on the day of the match. Consequently his performance was not upto the mark
• A charity match for Football Development was organized outstation by our Club. Bhaichung did not turn up at the Airport and his Boarding Card had to be cancelled at the very last minute. He did not participate in this match and the spectators were angry. Neither was there any reason for his absence nor did he inform any Official of the Club.
• Bhaichung was more focused on the dance reality show and Football had become his secondary interest. Inspite of his absence and misconduct he has received all his payments due to him for the 2008-2009 football season.
Bhaichung was made Captain of our Team and so he had a vital role to motivate his team mates and behave like a leader and to inspire the youngsters. We leave it to your good judgment as a Senior Football Administrator to ascertain whether the manner in which Bhaichung behaved is exemplary of a leader? The other Team Members were slowly being affected by this indiscipline behavior of their Captain and it would have been unfair to let someone get away with gross misconduct only on the ground that he is an “Icon in Indian Football.” Were Football Greats like Maradona and Zidane not booked by Referees for their fouls committed or should Referees chose to look away just because of their popularity and contribution for the game? In fact an Icon is meant to be more professional on and off the field.
Furthermore, the article mentions that our Club had a “Poor Start” but we wish to clarify that the Club started the 2008-2009 season with a bang winning the Premier Division of the Calcutta Football League involving four of the ONGC I- League teams and the Federation Cup. The season was rounded off with a thumping win over Churchill Brothers (National League Champions) in the Super Cup match thereby becoming Champion of Champions for the 2008-2009 season. Performance-wise it has been a very memorable season for our Club since we have won three out of the four major tournaments in which we participated thereby becoming the most successful Club of India this season.
We request you to please post our views in this regard on the AFC Official Website and oblige.
Anjan Kumar Mitra
Hony. General Secretary
Mohun Bagan A.C.
COURTESY: www.mohunbaganac.com (official website of Mohun Bagan club)