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Syed Nayeemuddin returns the money he got from the benefit match

982   //    08 Mar 2013, 11:58 IST

syedSyed Nayeemuddin, the only man from Indian football who has received Dronacharya Award and Arjuna Award, returned all the money (10 lakhs 60 thousand) he received from the match played for his benefit, organized by ‘Sports and Beyond’, on March 2 at the Salt Lake Stadium. Yesterday in his press conference, he said that it hurt him a lot to receive the money because, on that day, the gallery was empty. He also added that when he is not getting respect then he doesn’t need money.

It is quite sad that the 69-year-old legend, who has got all the required coaching licenses from Europe, despite winning 35 tournaments as a club coach and three international titles as national team’s coach (1987 SAFF Games, 1997 SAFF and 2005 SAFF Championship), has been overlooked by each and every club from India. Riding his old scooter, he knocked on many doors for help, and was ready to even coach the junior side, but ultimately he said regretfully, “I have turned from National coach to National beggar.”

Meanwhile, besides stating that he has already returned the money, Nayeemuddin also criticized current national coach Wim Koevermans and team India’s failure in the AFC Cup qualifiers. Talking about his tenure as national coach, he said, “We became the champions and created history when we beat Maldives 5-1. We have beaten Pakistan on their home soil and became champions. It’s quite surprising that instead of getting all the facilities, team India could not beat Myanmar.” He added, “I have heard that our Dutch coach gets 30-40 lakhs. When he can’t beat Myanmar after getting this huge amount of money, what is the need to keep a foreign coach?”.

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