Tshering Tamang, a 26-year-old state-level football player from Rangpo has allegedly reported that he was not allowed to play for the West Pendam Inter-Constituency Football Tournament because the team’s manager, Chopel Bhutia had asked him not play for the tournament citing his political affiliations as the sole reason why.
The manager of the team says that they do not bring politics into sports. He stresses on the fact that the player was asked to be kept on as a substitute so that younger players in the team had a chance to play in the match.
“We have better players than him. He turned his dismissal into a political issue because he was benched. Even Christiano Ronaldo stays on the bench sometimes”, says Bhutia. “I simply told him that younger players should get a chance. I am just a manager. I have other people managing me too.”
“He must’ve thought because he was a hardcore party supporter, we dismissed him. But it isn’t so. There are just other players who deserve to play on the team.”
Although the team lost 1-3 to Gangtok in the tournament, this news comes as a shock to the team. Tamang has played in State-level tournaments and for Sikkim Himalayan SC and United Sikkim FC in the past two years as a central midfielder.