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Setback for Delhi, Vinay out

sports Updated: May 21, 2009 23:58 IST

The Delhi football team lost its vice-captain even before it could open its campaign in the Santosh Trophy. Vinay Singh, the Churchill Brothers goalkeeper and Delhi's main custodian, has refused to play in the tournament.

Vinay was named as the first goalkeeper on May 18 for the country's premier football tournament starting May 24 in Tamil Nadu. The team left on May 20. But, in a shocking turn of events, the 31-year-old headed back to Goa without even intimating the Delhi Soccer Association (DSA).

DSA secretary-general N.K. Bhatia said, “We last spoke to Vinay during the team announcement. After that, we lost touch with him. We don't know his whereabouts.”

When contacted, Singh cited ‘mishandling’ of the professional players as the reason for leaving the team.

“I was hurt, especially after the way the DSA kicked out Avdesh (Pal). He plays for Dempo. If they didn't want to take him, why was he called in the first place? “It happened to Avdesh today, it could happen to me too. They can't treat professionals like this.”

Asked if he feared any disciplinary action, Vinay replied in the negative.

“Not at all. I haven't signed any contract with them. Neither did I take any money from them. They can't take the players for granted. They can't take action against me,” the goalkeeper said.

Sunil Chhetri, the captain, when asked to comment said he wasn't aware of this.