Tolgay Ozbey, who is involved in a tussle with East Bengal over his move to quit the club and join Mohun Bagan, on Saturday found support from Indian icon Bhaichung Bhutia, who said that the Football Players' Association of India was behind the Australian forward.
"It's really unfortunate that these things still happen in Indian football. Such things used to happen some 40 years ago during the times of English football. Sad that it's still happening in India," Bhutia said on the sidelines of an exhibition match at Howrah Municipal Stadium here.
"We at FPAI fully stand by Tolgay. I hope that the AIFF and the IFA resolve the matter within 10 days and take strong action," said Bhutia, who is the president of FPAI.
East Bengal has claimed that the Aussie forward had signed a voucher with the club and was not a free player.
Bhutia was seen in action in the first-half when he led a star-studded Debanjan Sen Foundation XI, who lost to Howrah Mayor's XI by 0-2 margin.
Organised in association with the FPAI, the match also saw the likes of Rennedy Singh, Deepak Mondal, Syed Rahim Nabi, Mehtab Hossain, Dipankar Roy, Dipendu Biswas, Arindam Bhattacharya and Abhijit Mondal turning out for team Bhutia.
Also seen in action was Tim Brown, the New Zealand midfielder who led his country at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.
The proceeds of the match would go to the Howrah Veterans Club and the Foundation.