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India's football federation seeks legal solution in Bhutia-Bagan club row

Posted By: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 31 (ANI): India's football federation on Sunday sought a legal solution to the row involving national soccer skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and country's oldest sport club Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan handed the 32-year-old striker a six-month ban in May after he missed training to appear on a celebrity-based dancing show on television and accused him of lacking commitment during the league season.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF), which met on Sunday, decided to refer the dispute to an arbitrator after a meeting between the two parties failed to break the deadlock.

"Both sides have a very firm view on the issue. So we need to have a kind of a legal solution to the issue because we cannot take a ruling... based on what both sides have stated. We feel it is better that we take a legal opinion and we will solve the issue. But it is being dragged that much, especially in this case because Bhaichung Bhutia is our national captain and a very respected player. So we want to settle it and resolve it at earliest," said Praful Patel, acting president of the AIFF.

Bhutia is regarded as the player who can inspire India in the 2011 Asian Cup, which has been seen as vital to reviving the game in the country. (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, August 31, 2009, 12:56 [IST]
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