Mohun Bagan-Bhaichung row ridiculous, says Houghton

June 18th, 2009 - 5:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) India’s chief football coach Bob Houghton Thursday termed the ongoing row between Mohun Bagan and national captain Bhaichung Bhutia as “ridiculous”, saying the spat could have been easily avoided.
Mohun Bagan has suspended Bhaichung for six months, alleging that the striker has given an unsatisfactory reply to the show cause notice slapped on him by the I-League club after he skipped some practice sessions and an exhibition game to take part in the dance reality show “Jhalak dikhla Ja”.

Houghton felt the issue was blown out of proportion.

“Mohun Bagan look ridiculous and Bhaichung is also a loser because he is suffering. They could have avoided the situation from turning into a nuclear explosion. It is ridiculous for Indian football,” said Houghton at the All India Football Federation (AIFF) headquarters here.

The Briton said that Bhaichung is an asset for the country and deserved better treatment from the club.

“Bhaichung is an asset for the country. Had it been the case with the national team, we would have just laughed over it and allowed him (Bhaichung) to go. In no way, I would have taken it to the AIFF executive committee,” he said.

Houghton said that Mohun Bagan made a big mistake by taking the issue to its executive committee and making it public.

Bhaichung has vowed not to play for Mohun Bagan again and has expressed faith in the AIFF and the state association, Indian Football Association (IFA) to get justice.

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