India football team players have slammed manager Pradip Chowdhury for deserting the team in Dubai, some of them even questioning the former India player's commitment to the team at such a crucial juncture. India are scheduled to participate in the Asian Cup in Doha from January 7.
According to the website www.fpaofindia.com, a mouthpiece of the Football Players Association of India (FPAI), the national team members felt let down by Chowdhury's departure at a time when the team is facing a crisis due to injuries to crucial players.
"I spoke to Pradip Chowdhury immediately after I came to know that he gave up his position as manager of the national football team," India captain Bhaichung Bhutia was quoted as saying by the website. It also said that the players have mutually agreed not to have Chowdhury back in the camp. According to reports, Chowdhury left after a tiff with coach Bob Houghton but many felt otherwise.
"Knowing Bob Houghton for more than four years has made me believe that he would never malign someone the way Pradip has expressed," said goalkeeper Subrata Pal.
When contacted, Chowdhury maintained that he had come back due to personal issues and that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had been informed about his departure. "I had some personal work and that's why I came," said Chowdhury over the phone. Chowdhury also refused to react to the players' comments.