It’s been almost three months since Baichung Bhutia announced his retirement from international football on August 24. Now that the veteran footballer has more time on his hands, he wants to focus on giving football a proper platform in India. One of his first such ventures involves bringing the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools to town. They will be located at Napeansea Road, Juhu, Bandra and Kandivali.
Another initiative that he has been pursuing is the opening of a football academy with actor John Abraham. Says Baichung, "The school that I’m opening is different from the academy that John and I have planned. The academy will have 30 to 40 kids who will stay there 24x7, learn to play football and make a living out of it. John is interested in getting it opened soon. We’ve met a few corporates for the huge investment required too."
So will John help in the functioning of the Mumbai schools? "He can definitely come and see my football schools here in the city. He will experience football firsthand once the schools start. I’m sure he will help," says Baichung.
A few months ago, Baichung was in the news for the help he had rendered to victims of an earthquake in his home state, Sikkim. Neha Dhupia and Rahul Bose were some of the Bollywood stars who were part of the fundraising campaign. He adds, "Our initiative to generate more money for the quake victims is still on. We are also planning a football match with Rahul and more stars. It will be held either in Mumbai or Kolkata." The quake had completely destroyed the office of Baichung’s United Sikkim Football Club.