India striker Sunil Chhetri was refused a work permit to play for Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR) in the English Championship, according to a report on www.fpaofindia.com - the official website of professional footballers in India. The report said QPR had wanted to sign Chhetri on a three-year contract.
The website said Chhetri was refused a work permit because India aren’t in the top 70 of the FIFA rankings a British government pre-requisite.
Partly owned by the Mittal Group, QPR had evinced interest in Chhetri during the training tour of Barcelona.
The development left India captain Bhaichung Bhutia disappointed. “Sunil would surely have done well in Queen’s Park. He has the ability to play even in the premiership with one or two years of experience in the championship with QPR,” he said.
Chhetri, who earlier had a not-too-happy trial with Coventry in January, had deliberately kept the contract with Queen’s Park under wraps.
“I had signed with them few weeks back and I knew I still would have had to wait for a work permit. So, with lots of stories about me playing in Europe and with having a bad experience with the media in the Coventry case, I was skeptical,” Chhetri said.
“I am disappointed because the work permit is something that I can’t do anything about, being so close and not getting it is indeed disappointing. But it’s not the end of the world. I will still continue working hard for my country and my club Dempo, who have been very supportive,” he added.