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Home / Sports / Football / Bhaichung Bhutia questions U-17 women’s trip to Spain

Bhaichung Bhutia questions U-17 women’s trip to Spain

‘The team will be playing in Bhubaneswar, a hot and humid place, during the U-17 World Cup and you are sending the players to Barcelona where it is much cooler’
Bhaichung Bhutia.
Bhaichung Bhutia.
File Photo

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 20.09.22, 03:58 AM

With less than a month before the Fifa Under17 Women’s World Cup, the Indian team will travel to Barcelona for an exposure trip but former national team captain Bhaiching Bhutia doesn’t like the idea. “The weather in Barcelona is much different from India. The team will be playing in Bhubaneswar, a hot and humid place, during the U-17 World Cup and you are sending the players to Barcelona where it is much cooler. How will it benefit the Indian team in terms of acclimatisation?” Bhutia said.

“AIFF could have invited a few national teams to play in India,” he added. The AIFF decided on the trip a week ago. An official, who was present at the meeting, expressed surprise, saying Bhutia had asked about the team’s preparations and was informed that the exposure trip has been sanctioned by the government. “Why didn’t he raise these questions in the meeting?” the official told The Telegraph.

Bhutia, an executive committee member, also alleged that he was not allowed to question the legitimacy of Shaji Prabhakaran’s appointment as secretary-general as the matter was not on the agenda of the meeting despite the former seeking it last week.

Target for Stimac

The ex-co also ratified the technical committee’s suggestion to continue with national team coach Igor Stimac till next year’s Asian Cup. Stimac has been given a target of helping the team to reach the lasteight stage failing which he will be shown the door. 

“The performance target is to be top-eight in the competition. If that is achieved, then automatically the contract will be extended to another competition,” Prabhakaran said. 

Prabhakaran also informed that former players Shabbir Ali, Vijayan and Arun Ghosh will be nominated for the Padma Shri award. Manoranajan Bhattacharya’s name will be sent for the Dhyan Chand award and Jeje Lalpekhlua for the Arjuna award.

Infantino, PM meeting

Fifa president Gianni Infantino might visit India next month and call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the way forward, Prabhakaran informed. “That would be an important day. They would be making some announcements which would be path-breaking,” the secretary-general added.



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