Indian star Baichung Bhutia: When I watch the I-League, I feel like changing the channel

The former Indian captain was in Navi Mumbai for the start of a five-day coaching seminar organized by the AIFF. He spoke to the media about the importance of the seminar.
Retired Indian star Baichung Bhutia has expressed his frustration with the local I-League, claiming there's too many stoppages.

The 35-year-old former Bury man was present at the inauguration of a five-day coaching seminar that commenced on Monday in his role as the Football Players' Association of India (FPAI) president, and commented on the state of the I-League.

"When I watch the I-League on TV, I feel like changing the channel. The referee blows the whistle every one minute. Two players jump for the ball and the whistle goes off," he said.

Bhutia, 35, suggested that the amount of stoppages slows down the pace of the game and makes it boring. He regards that flaw as one of the reasons why watching European football is so much more entertaining.

The former India international also stressed the importance of the support from the I-League clubs and the fans in the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) endeavour to revolutionise Indian football. He called for the same support fans offer cricket in the country and emphasised that this will take a collective effort from all parties involved.

"Let's not get stuck in the 60s and 70s. Let's embrace the new concepts," Bhutia encouraged.

"From my experience, I have starved for the right kind of training for long. This initiative by the AIFF is an excellent one. It's the right beginning."

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