Football legend Chuni slams AITA for buckling under pressure

Updated: Jun 23, 2012, 19:09 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian football legend Chuni Goswami on Saturday slammed the AITA for not acting firm against Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the Olympics doubles team selection row and said some action should be taken against them.

"You have to play with the pride of the country in mind but it was unfortunate that the controversy happened. I think AITA will have also to be blamed. It should have been firm and should not have changed its earlier decision," Goswami told reporters at the sidelines of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations here.

Asked if he would advocate disciplinary action against Bhupathi and Bopanna, Goswami, who was the captain of the Indian football team which won gold in the 1962 Asian Games, said, "Some measures should be taken. They have set a bad precedent."

The AITA had to reverse its decision to pair Leander Paes and Bhupathi after the latter and Rohan Bopanna stuck to their stand that they will not play in the Olympics if they were not teamed up. AITA later announced two teams with Paes teaming up with lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan, besides the Bhupathi-Bopanna pair.

Goswami said that such a controversy would not have happened in a strong federation.

"This kind of thing would not have happen in a strong federation. In our playing days, there were dressing room tensions among players and between players and managers. It`s not new and it happens in all sports. Under a strong administration it ends quietly."

PTI