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Mahindra closing down wake-up call for AIFF: Bhutia

Kolkata: Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia
today said the shutting down of Mahindra United should serve a
wake-up call for All India Football Federation who need to
encourage fan-based clubs.

Describing the sudden development as "very unfortunate",
the talismanic Indian forward told PTI, "It has given a
wake-up call to AIFF to look and encourage new teams. We need
to have more fan-based teams like Pune FC. We need to
encourage teams like that."

He, however, was not much surprised at Mahindra United`s
decision to disband the club at the end of current I-League
season with focus of the parent company shifting towards
developing talent at school level.

"Whatever happened is very unfortunate. But from the
corporate sector`s point of view, Mahindra United are not the
first club to shut down. It`s bound to happen when you have
corporate clubs."

"A good club shutting down is obviously not a good thing
for anyone. Be it a senior footballer or a promising
youngster. It`s time for the parent body to look into new
ideas. It`s a learning process and they need to look into ways
of bringing in new teams," he added.

Bhutia, also the Football Players Association of India
(FPAI) president, said, "From players point of view, after a
season everybody`s contract is over and everybody starts
looking for a new club. So it`s not a big loss for them." Bhutia`s East Bengal teammate and a senior pro Alvito
D`Cunha, however, felt that a few youngsters would suffer to
get into good side.

"It`s very bad for some footballers. Mahindra United were
doing so well. A few of the players will suffer. It`s very bad
for Indian football and it`s a big loss to the country."

PTI

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