Ace football striker Sunil Chettri was left heartbroken after being denied a work permit to play in Britain despite being offered a three-year contract by Queen's Park Rangers, which is part-owned by the Mittal group.
Chettri said Saturday that he had signed a three-year contract with Queen's Park Rangers a few weeks ago.
"My agent informed me Friday that my application for a work permit was rejected by the UK government, since India are not among the top 70 in the FIFA ranking. I signed a three-year contract with them few weeks back," Chettri said.
Chettri said he was disappointed to hear media reports here that he was rejected in the trials at Coventry.
"I didn't want to make it public because I had a bad experience with the media after the trials there," the Delhi boy said.
"Its disappointing because I could not play even after being selected. But it's not the end of the world. I will work hard for my country and my club Dempo," he said.
Queen's Park Rangers is partly owned by the Mittal Group. The club's CEO had met Chettri in Barcelona.
India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia, who had played for third division club Bury FC for three years, said it was sad that India does not play enough international matches.
"Not playing too many international matches is a big setback for the players. Sunil would surely have done well. He has the ability to play even in the premiership with one or two years of experience in the Championship," Bhutia maintained.