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Can’t believe Karim’s removed: Booth

Fifteen days ago, they had a public spat, which Mahindra United coach David Booth took to the post-match press conference. But one day after life took a U-turn for Karim Bencherifa, Booth forgot past animosity and sprung to the support of the former Mohun Bagan coach.

sports Updated: Feb 05, 2010 23:46 IST
Gordon D’Costa

Fifteen days ago, they had a public spat which Mahindra United coach David Booth took to the post-match press conference.

But one day after life took a U-turn for Karim Bencherifa, Booth forgot past animosity and sprung to the support of the former Mohun Bagan coach.

"I can't believe that he has been removed as the coach," the Englishman told the Hindustan Times on Friday.

"I had an issue with him (Bencherifa) some time back. But professionally, he has done a wonderful job in charge of the Kolkata club," he added.

Booth, who flew to Thailand Friday night for a brief vacation, said sacking Bencherifa made things easier for other I-League teams.

“Now, the coaches of the other I-League clubs will not have to worry too much when they take on a Bagan side

without Bencharifa at the helm. He is a very clever coach who come up with some good strategy,” said Booth.

Bencherifa and Booth have been party to four thrilling duels this season and thrice the Moroccan won.

“I spoke to him this morning and wished him luck,” said Booth. He also said it was a planned move.

“I think this (removing Bencherifa) has nothing to do with football.”

Mahindra-Bagan this season

IFA Shield Group C match on Sept 6: 1-1.
Durand Cup semi-final on Sept 20: Mohun Bagan won 2-1.
Federation Cup Group B match on December 26: Mohun Bagan won 2-0.
I-League 11th round match in Mumbai: Mohun Bagan won 2-1.