AIFF to seek legal solution

Apex body refers Bhutia issue to an arbitrator

“Both the sides took a very firm view that they were right on the issue, so we cannot take a ruling. So we will seek a legal solution now,” AIFF acting President Praful Patel told reporters after the federation’s executive committee meeting here. “We have decided to refer the matter to an arbitrator as Bhutia himself has also asked for such a possibility,” he added.

Patel said the arbitrator will be decided within a week. “We will take a decision on who would be the arbitrator in a week’s time. No doubt, the arbitrator will be a legal expert,” he said.

“Bhutia is the national captain. He is the icon of Indian football and we want to settle the matter as soon as possible,” he added. AIFF Secretary General Alberto Colaco, a Mohun Bagan official and Bhutia assembled this morning to discuss the footballer’s suspension from the Club.

Meanwhile, the eight candidates for the post of AIFF secretary and five contenders for the I-League Chief Executive Officer will be called for interview either on September 23 or 24.
The AIFF executive committee also decided to start the third edition of the I-League from the first week of October while the Federation Cup will be held in Assam between December 15 and 31. Goa will host the Santosh Trophy though the dates will be decided later.

Five venues — Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Hoshiarpur (Punjab), Cooperage (Mumbai) and Bangalore Football Stadium — have been picked for initial inspection by FIFA experts for the laying of artificial turfs under the ‘Win in India with India’ project of FIFA. “FIFA experts will inspect these five venues from September 14-21,” Colaco said.

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