Football Players Association Of India (FPAI) President Bhaichung Bhutia spoke to the media on the sidelines of the Indian football awards night 2012, over topics varying from the future of FPAI, the players involvement in improvement of coaching in India and his club United Sikkim.
The former Indian captain was upbeat about the awards night, and spoke light-heartedly of how he came days in advance to avoid missing the ceremony. He stated, “This is the 4th edition of this award and for the first time in Goa. We wanted to host it in Goa before but were unable to do it. This time thanks to Mr. Salgaocar’s support, we are here.”
“I missed out on awards in Kolkata due to missing my flights due to weather condition, where I was stuck at the airport with my dear friend Renedy Singh. This time I came days in advance to be sure! It is more special(to be in Goa) because my whole family is with me, so I am really enjoying it, especially since my father usually never comes with me, but when I told him it's Goa he was ready!”
About the future of FPAI, Bhaichung spoke optimistically, “For future we have a lot of work to do. We have just started. We are getting great help from FIFpro Asia, and with their help, knowledge and guidance we shall keep growing. We have many areas to improve, and hopefully we can look after players beyond their retirement.”
The Sikkimese Sniper, as he is fondly known as, also spoke of the various coaching activities of the players associated with FPAI. He revealed, “We encourage national team players to do coaching clinics in their own state. Gouramangi did it, and we have held other such camps in Kashmir amongst other places. Game is spreading across India and players are now going back to their roots and hopefully young talent will come from there in the future.”
The United Sikkim FC owner also spoke of the landmark measures he has taken at his club, to push them towards a professional level. Bhaichung commented, “The thing is now that you have reached the I-League, it is easy to get an opportunity to interact with other clubs in India. United Sikkim is the first club to sign a standard contract approved by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and we are sharing our ideas with other clubs. We definitely are looking forward to a strong relationship with clubs.”
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