A day after accusing just-retired Bhaichung Bhutia of match-rigging in 2006, former coach Syed Nayeemuddin on Thursday made a U-turn and said that he had committed a mistake by making the allegations on the Indian football captain.
Hours after Bhaichung announced his international retirement here on Wednesday, Dronacharya awardee coach Nayeemuddin accused him of rigging India's Asian Cup qualifiers match against Yemen in 2006 to discredit him.
"It was a misunderstanding between me and Bhaichung and I had no personal enmity with him. I had committed a mistake. I am willing to speak to Bhaichung and may be say sorry to him," Nayeemuddin said.
The Dronacharya awardee coach said that he had wrongly thought that Bhaichung led a plot with other players to rig the match.
"It was a mistake on my part to have thought that Bhaichung had a meeting with other players to do something against me during Asian Cup Qualifiers. I have come to know that it was a meeting to discuss formation of Football Players Association of India (of which Bhaichung is now president). I have been wrongly told by some people," said the former coach who was sacked after a string of poor performances by India in early 2006.
Bhaichung, on his part, played down the controversy, saying that he would accept Nayeemuddin's clarification and consider it a close chapter.
"I am happy that Nayeemuddin has accepted that he has done some mistake and misunderstood me. Anybody can commit mistake and have misunderstanding with somebody. So I am OK with it. I have no personal enmity with him," said the former striker who had been the poster boy of Indian football for the major part of the last two decades.