Club culture needs to be encouraged: Bhutia

Kolkata: Club culture, which has produced
world class players like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in
Spain, needs to be encouraged in the country, India captain
Bhaichung Bhutia said on Wednesday.

"It is clubs which produce players. Look at players
like Xavi and Iniesta. It`s Barcelona who have produced them,
and not Spain. These clubs have youth development programmes
in place," Bhutia told reporters at the Calcutta Sports
Journalists Club here.

"We need to encourage club football. We need to have a
proper system and structure in place. In turn, the players
after becoming successful give back to their clubs."

Asked whether he would like to be in the administration
to change the standard of football in India, he said, "One
person cannot make a change. We have to work together. There
is no unity among ourselves. Unless there is a feeling from
inside and unless everybody starts working together we cannot
change. We need to think of the larger picture."

Speaking about India`s preparations in Portugal for the
upcoming Asian Cup in 2011, Bhutia said: "We have got to
prepare well. It`s a gamble worth taking. We will not go down
from where we are at the moment, but we might have chances to

"We need to experiment which might improve the standard
of Indian football. There is a need to change the system."

Hailing Indian striker Sunil Chhetri`s return from MLS to
join the India camp, Bhutia said: "He has not come back
permanently. It`s a very good decision by him to join the
India side."

Asked whether he was mulling retirement from club
football, Bhutia said, "No. If at all I have to retire, I will
call it quits at the international level first. At the moment,
I am keen on playing in the Asian Cup."


Jaunpur: Two persons were killed and six
injured in a gunbattle today between two rival groups during a
discussion on a move to bring no-confidence against a village
head at Samodpur village here, police said.

Markandey Singh (70) and Surendra Singh (40) were killed
this afternoon when supporters of Manoj Singh and his rival
Shiv Pratap Singh clashed at the village.

The police lodged an FIR in connection with the incident
and launched a manhunt to arrest the culprits.