Bhutia sends reminder to AIFF, Bengal PSC member yet to decide

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India captain Bhaichung Bhutia has reminded AIFF to speed up decision on his suspension by Mohun Bagan.

Updated: July 21, 2009 16:22 IST
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New Delhi:

Even as India captain Bhaichung Bhutia has reminded All India Football Federation to speed up decision on his suspension by Mohun Bagan, a member of the AIFF Players' Status Committee from Bengal is yet to give his opinion "due to insufficient documents".

Sources said Bhutia, who is now in Barcelona training with the India national team, had sent a reminder to the AIFF that his case be taken up quickly.

But, Debashish Banerjee, the PSC member from Bengal, is yet to give his opinion as he has not got the documents he had asked for from the AIFF.

"I had asked for some more documents from Alberto Colaco to decide on the matter. He had promised me to send them soon but he has not done that even after a week," Banerjee said from Kolkata.

"I had asked for the contract of Bhutia with Mohun Bagan, the showcause by the club, the interim order by IFA (that the matter will be taken up by AIFF PSC). Without these, how can I give my opinion," he said.

Another PSC member Kehar Singh has given his opinion that Bhutia can't play for any club other than Mohun Bagan if his contract, which runs till 2010, with the green-and-maroon is valid.

"I don't have the contract, I had to rely on newspaper reports about what the issue was. But I have said if the contract of Bhutia with Mohun Bagan is valid he will have to be a Bagan player for the rest of season," Kehar said.

"He (Bhutia) may not play for Mohun Bagan and continue playing for India but he can't play for any other club. If Bhutia is allowed to play for any other club (East Bengal) that will open a Pandora's box. It will not be a good precedent," said Kehar, who is also president of the Mumbai District Football Association.

Kehar, who had earlier complained of not being informed of the matter in time by the AIFF, said it should have been decided by the Indian Football Association instead of the AIFF PSC.

PSC chairman KP Sunny had already sent his opinion while SA Rehman from Karnataka is now in Australia. The fifth member, Antonio Botelho from Goa, could not be reached though he had earlier said he wanted more documents before deciding on the matter.

Bhutia though got support from AIFF vice-president AR Khaleel who felt the India captain should be protected at any cost.

"It was unfortunate that the issue had arisen. But Bhutia is a national icon, he is the face of Indian football. He should be protected," Khaleel, also Karnataka Football Association President, said.

With at least one PSC member yet to give opinion, the Bhutia issue seems unlikely to come up in tomorrow's AIFF emergency committee meeting here.

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