The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhaichung deal in technical snag

Calcutta: Though Bhaichung Bhutia claims to have signed a two-month deal with Perak FC of Malaysia, it seems that it is far from being final. It has been learnt that the deal may have run into some technical problems.

According to a new Fifa rule, there is no provision of a two-month lien. AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco had got in touch with Fifa after Perak had asked for clearance of the East Bengal striker.

“I talked to the Fifa officials and they have told me that the rule is that a player has to be released for a minimum of six months,” Colaco said.

However, Colaco also said that Fifa has made exemptions in certain cases and the AIFF wants to cash in on that.

“I’ll write to Fifa, asking them to allow Bhutia the two-month stint at Perak,” Colaco said. He informed that a copy of that letter has been sent to both the IFA and East Bengal for any additions, if necessary. For their part, the East Bengal officials said they are happy with the contents.

However, Bhutia himself sounded extremely confident that the deal wouldn’t fall through.

“A two-month deal is nothing new. The Perak officials are quite aware of the rule and this won’t be a problem,” Bhutia said citing the example of Romario, who had a three-month stint with a UAE club.

Another sticking point is that though the Indian team’s Afro-Asian Games camp starts on October 1, Bhutia’s contract with Perak won’t end by then.

However, Colaco said that he would talk to Indian coach Stephen Constantine on the issue.

Bhutia also felt it would be sorted out. “I will talk to Stephen personally and see what can be done. I’m sure it wouldn’t hinder the deal,” the striker added.

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