Football forum respects Bhutia’s decision

April 1st, 2008 - 10:29 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Tuesday, while respecting national soccer captain Bhaichung Bhutia’s refusal to carry the Olympic torch, expressed its support to the Beijing Games. “Bhaichung Bhutia expressed his desire not to take part in this function, for some personal reasons. It is purely an expression of his fundamental right and is his own decision, totally unrelated to AIFF and football fraternity,” AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said in a statement.

Bhutia, who is a Buddhist, refused to be a part of the Olympic torch relay to show his solidarity with the Tibetans’ struggle for a free nation.

“Bhutia hails from one of our important Himalayan states, Sikkim. His concern on Lhasa incident is a concern of any other human rights activist or social activist or cultural legacy of the monks, etc, against the violence,” Dasmunshi said.

“I had a telephonic talk with Bhutia and we understood his sentiments. But AIFF welcomes the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay as a part of the legacy of Olympic Movement on the eve of Beijing Olympics 2008 and we wish the success of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” he added.

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