Bhaichung, Nayeem indulge in war of words

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

Football coach Sayed Nayeemuddin's comments on former captain Bhaichung Bhutia's fitness and form has opened the floodgates for yet another controversy.

Kolkata:

The newly appointed national football coach Sayed Nayeemuddin's comments on former captain Bhaichung Bhutia's fitness and form has opened the floodgates for yet another controversy. Bhaichung fired back in an exclusive interview to NDTV saying that India's vision 2020 can only be achieved with a foreign coach. Comeback plans Bhaichung is trying hard for a comeback. He failed to make it to the Bengal team for the ongoing Santosh Trophy after an inordinate delay in obtaining an international transfer clearance from the Malaysian club he played for. The delay has in fact kept him out of action for the last month and a half and he also missed being part of the East Bengal team for the Federation Cup. For Bhutia, the comeback has become even more important since he hopes to silence his critics like the national coach Syed Nayeemuddin. Nayeem has already raised questions about the striker's form and fitness in the media. "You should let me play and then see. If you could not make it to Malaysia that was unfortunate. You don't want to hear statements from your national coach. Just because we do not have a healthy relationship, such comments coming out are unfair," said Bhutia. Ego hassles The war of words between coach Nayeem and captain Bhaichung is nothing new. The pair have had problems since the Asian Games in 1998 where Bhutia disagreed with the coach over the team selection. The fact that this time Nayeem has already said players would be chosen on current form and not past performances could be bad news for Bhutia who has not played in India since April this year. Perhaps for the moment, it will have to be Bhaichung who sheds his ego if he hopes to get back to the Indian team.

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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