Clubs are not committed to developing players: Bhaichung


Panaji: Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia Monday said that football clubs in the country were not committed to development of young players.

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Bhutia also said that he was keen to start a football academy par excellence in the country.

Bhaichung was in Goa to launch the India finals of Manchester United premier cup (under 15 years) at the Duler football ground, 15 km from here.

“In India, clubs (football) are not committed to youth development. I think clubs lack knowledge on how to go about it,” Bhutia said.

The East Bengal player said that football in Europe had an edge because of their committment to the focused development of young footballers showed by clubs.

“In Europe it’s a different system,” he said, adding that clubs there thrived on the football academies they ran professionally for youngsters.

He also rued the dearth of footballing infrastructure in India. “Even leading clubs in India like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan or Dempo don’t have their own grounds,” Bhutia said.

Bhutia, who has served the Indian football team for more than a decade now, said that he was keen on starting a top of the line football academy, but had not zeroed in on where he wanted to set it up.

“I want to start a very, very good sports academy that should be one of the best in India or Asia. I would need about 20 to 30 acres of land. It could be in any state,” Bhutia said.

Bhutia also asked the participants of the Manchester United Premier Cup not to get intimidated by the physically superior players in their age group in Europe.

“Don’t get taken aback by their players, names when you go to play at Manchester. Finally talent matters, nothing else,” Bhutia said.

The winning team from the India finals will play in an international competition at the �Theatre of Dreams’, which is the home turf of the Manchester United football club.