Baichung had taken advantage for too long: Bagan
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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 kick-off.

"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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