Coventry agent didn't treat Chhetri well: Bhutia

Bhaichung Bhutia is not amused at the way India teammate Sunil Chhetri was treated by Coventry City.

updated: February 09, 2009 13:35 IST
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New Delhi:

Bhaichung Bhutia is not amused at the way India teammate Sunil Chhetri was treated by Coventry City but feels the Delhi player's agent could have handled the situation better.

"Sunil's agent and Coventry could have done better than give him just a couple of days' trial," Bhutia said here on Monday.

The India and Mohun Bagan skipper was here to conduct a special skills session for kids organised by the Delhi International Football League in association with a sports equipment brand 'Nike'.

"Coventry did not give him a fair trial. He was there for six days but during that time the club was playing the league matches. That left him just two days to train with the squad.

"I don't know why Coventry called him now in the middle of the season. They could have seen him in the summers," said Bhutia.

The skipper also felt Chhetri's England-based agent Yogesh Joshee should have advised the player better.

"It's normal for somebody getting a call to train abroad getting excited but it was the duty of Sunil's agent to advise him better," said Bhutia adding "after this incident players should be more careful".

Bhutia also felt the country's football fraternity should tread carefully while dealing with foreign clubs showing interest in India.

"It should be a win-win situation. Teams like Manchester United and Chelsea have already made inroads in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia but their football hans't improved much. We must see that we don't lose out in the process, that these tie-ups help our football as well."

While ruling out that recession will affect Indian football and players' payment when the transfer window opens next, the Sikkimese sniper Bhutia also favoured the Asian Football Confederation's new 3+1 rule that will see one player from the continent teaming up with three foreigners.

And with India trying to get inducted to the Asian Champions League, the All India Football Federation has been advised to incorporate this rule from next season.

"It is up to the AIFF to study Indian football and see how it can improve. Rather than bringing below-par players from countries like Brazil, Nigeria and elsewhere, Indian clubs can look to Asia to bolster their ranks," said Bhutia.