Indian footballers excited to play against Bayern

New Delhi: Excited at the prospect of rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest international football stars, national team players are looking forward to the farewell match of former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia against a star-studded FC Bayern Munich here on January 10.

The famed German side is fielding their first team with the likes of Philip Lahm, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller in action at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium against an India XI to be led by Bhaichung.

The proceeds of the exhibition match, to be titled `Audi Football Summit`, will go to support the earthquake-affected people in Sikkim, Bhaichung`s home state.

Bhaichung, who will don the captain`s arm band for the one last time, said he is honoured to play his farewell match against a top European club like Bayern Munich.

"My career has been a great learning for me, a wonderful experience. My 16 years of international football career has made me richer in experience and I have grown as a person. Playing my final India match against Bayern Munchen is a great honour, but also a tough finale for me. Bayern are one of the best teams in the world and I rate them as better than Germany," said Bhaichung.

"Indian football is moving in a positive direction with the Indian team qualifying for Asian cup after a gap of 27 years. In addition to this, the junior teams and developmental team are making good progress on the Asian front. I believe that it will not be long before we see Indian players plying their trade on the international club circuit," added Bhaichung.

Indian team coach Savio Medeira said his boys will learn a lot playing against Bayern Munich.

"It`s not every day that you get a chance to play against the best in the World. It would be a learning experience for us," he said.

Amanda Wienhold, now 31 and living in the US, said her parents had tried to lay sexual harassment charges against Hewitt but were told that it would be her word against that of a famous tennis player.

"The final straw was when he caught me alone at the next tournament and said `You may have won the battle, but you will never win the war`," Wienhold said.

Some of the women, who have come forward about their alleged abuse at Hewitt`s hands have demanded that the international Tennis Hall of Fame and the South African Sports Hall of Fame exclude Hewitt.

The International organisation has appointed a team to investigate this while the local body said said that they would only consider this if Hewitt, now a television commentator, was found guilty by a court of law.

Hewitt has declined to discuss the allegations, which also featured in an HBO TV documentary last month, but may now be forced to react after the official rape charge was laid by Sheehan.


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