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Baichung had taken advantage for too long: Bagan

Last Updated: Friday, May 15, 2009 - 21:02

Kolkata, May 15: Mohun Bagan today said its captain
Baichung Bhutia had been taking advantage of being a big star
for too long and the club had to take action to deter other
players from similar incidents by serving showcause to him.

Mohun Bagan yesterday served a showcause to Baichung
asking him to explain within 48 hours the reasons for missing
a number of training sessions and an exhibition match in
Jalpaiguri on Monday without prior notice. The India captain
was also barred from taking part in team trainings till then.

Club Secretary Anjan Mitra said he had acted as an
administrator in serving showcause to Baichung and he had no
personal grudge with his club captain.

"I have very good relations with him (Bhutia) and have no
ill-feelings against him. I have to take this step as an
administrator of the club and Bhutia too would have done the
same if he was in my position. Personally, I was really sad
and my hands shivered while signing the showcause," Mitra told
reporters after a meeting of club officials.

"Being a senior member of the side and captain of Indian
team, he has so far been getting a bit of advantage. But it
was high time that we had to act looking into the perspective
of other players. Nobody is above the institution. Being a
captain, he has to lead by example and adhere to rulebook,"
Mitra added.

Baichung is yet to reply on the showcause. He has been
incommunicado since the news broke out.

Mohun Bagan served the showcause to Baichung last night
asking him to explain his "casual conduct" within 48 hours and
"advised" him not to join team practice till then.

Baichung remained too occupied with other activities like
television reality shows and was not at all committed to the
cause of the club, Mitra had pointed out in the letter sent to
the India captain.

"Your performance during the later stages of I-League and
Super Cup was not up to the desired standard. This is one of
the main reasons that Mohun Bagan could not win the League,"
the letter stated.

"Your performance in the ongoing AFC Cup 2009 is also
disheartening where you could not even attend practice session
of the team at Amman (Jordan) for the away match earlier this
month and reached there less than 24 hours before the

"It is evident that this season your focus has shifted
from football and it has now become your secondary interest.

It is unexpected from a senior professional footballer," Mitra
said in the letter, addressing Bhutia as a "registered player"
and not as captain of Mohun Bagan. Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, May 15, 2009 - 21:02
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