I-League Division 1

Baichung suspended for six months

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Monday, 08. June 2009 - Pit Ruddy

The Indian footballing icon Baichung Bhutia has been suspended for 6 months by his club Mohun Bagan AC. The executive committee of the club met today and took an unanimous decision in this regard.

It was surprising that the club secretary Anjan Mitra didn’t appear before the media for the press conference. Rather, senior Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee, who is also an executive committee member of the club announced the decision. Incidentally, Anjan Mitra had taken the initiative to show-cause the superstar.

The reason for suspension is quite strange.The executive committee alleged that Baichung had not taken necessary permission from the club for the dance show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. Not only that, he has skipped national and international assignments of the club giving preferrence  to the dance programme. If Baichung intends to shootback then he will have enough evidence to prove that he did talk to one and all for necessary permission for the purpose. The coach Karim Bencharifa in one of his press conferences during the season had stated that the Indian captain had definitely talked with him before saying yes to the organizers of the programme. The treasurer of Mohun Bagan had also corroborated the coaches viewpoint. But today every such issue was absolutely squashed and the icon taken to task.

Baichung has infact not missed a single I-League match other than for card problems or injury. Even he did make himself available for the AFC Cup matches but the coach didn’t field him because he wanted his star to be fresh for the I-League tittle fight. But now Baichung is facing suspension on the basis of not having been sincere to his assignment!
The officials also alleged that Baichung’s reply to the showcause notice was not satisfactory. But he had also asked for release from the club in his letter? The official reply was, "We didn’t discuss that."
Baichung who is away to Darjeeling on way to his hometown Sikkim was not available for reply.