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Renedy Singh Clarifies After FPAI Letter on East Bengal’s ISL Inclusion Courts Controversy; Barry Bennell Confesses to Nine Sexual Offence Charges and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): FPAI courts controversy over East Bengal's Indian Super League (ISL) inclusion, president Renedy Singh clarifies | Ex coach Barry Bennell pleads guilty to nine sexual offence charges | Stephen Tataw: Cameroon's Italia 90 World Cup captain dies | Focus on grassroots to develop Indian football: Bhaichung Bhutia | Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter calls for Gianni Infantino to be suspended.
Renedy Singh clarifies FPAI letter controversy

Renedy Singh explained the FPAI focuses on players and not clubs, trying to diffuse the letter controversy.

The Football Players Association of India (FPAI) wrote a letter to  the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Indian Super League (ISL) demanding the inclusion of East Bengal in the top-flight without president Renedy Singh’s approval.  

The general secretary of the AIFF, Kushal Das, was addressed in the letter, which was marked to the manager of the Football Sport Development Ltd (FSDL), asking the ISL stakeholders to take a speedy decision.

“We the association sincerely urge you to include the East Bengal into the ISL without any hesitation or delay,” FPAI general manager Cyrus Confectioner wrote in the letter. “It is rich in history and is one of the oldest and most premier clubs having a massive fan following, something which the sport needs for it to grow and thrive in India.” 

Also Read | Name: Indian Football Team; Place of Birth: The Olympics

Renedy, surprised at being circumvented, explained the organisation focuses on players and not clubs. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to inform all that it is wrong to come out in support of any one particular club as we are only to support the players,” Renedy said in his letter to the AIFF general secretary.

“The clubs should settle their matters internally with the federation and FSDL regarding their participation in the ISL or any other league for that matter,” the former player, who also captained the national team, added. “I was shocked to learn that he (Confectioner) had written such a letter without consulting me.”

Bennell Pleads Guilty

Barry Bennell, a former football coach of Crew Alexandra and serial child offender, pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences over a span of nine year at Chester Crown Court. 

Also Read | The Walk: An Olympian, a Worker and a Home Yet to be Defined

Bennell, alias Richard Jones, confessed at the court on Friday to three counts of buggery and six counts of sexual violation in connection with two complainants between 1979 and 1988. He accepted guilt via a video link from HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire where he is serving a 30-year term after being convicted of 50 sexual offenses against children in 2018. 

Judge Patrick Thompson explained that his verdict on Bennell’s punishment would consider the effect an additional two complaints would have on his 2018 sentence. 

“It is important the two victims have the opportunity to come to court,” he said, Adjourning the case to 5 October. 

Stephen Tataw Passes Away

Former Cameroon captain Stephen Tataw passed away at his home in Yaounde on Friday. He was 57. The right-back was most famous for his performance for the Lions when he took them to the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

However, four years later in the United States, they got knocked out in the first round. That outing in the USA included a 6-1 thrashing by Russia after they were defeated by Brazil 3-0.

After the 1990 World Cup, he played a trial for Queens Park Rangers in the (then) English First Division, but was later told by the manager Don Howe "I was good - excellent - but he was full up."

He was suffering from a “protracted illness" but no details have been revealed at the moment.

Bhutia on Development

Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia stressed on the need to focus on grassroots development so that a team which could compete with the best in Asia can be produced.

Bhutia explained that the only way Indian football is going to succeed in the long run -- Asian level and world stage -- is by strengthening the  grassroots.

"We need to produce good quality players. That's very important when I say that I don't mean we don't have good players now. But in order to compete in Asia and at the world level we need to produce bigger better players from the grassroots," Bhutia said in an Instagram live session with the AIFF.

Hosting the U-17 World Cup for boys was a step in the right direction.

"Hosting the under-17 World Cup was a starting point for us. It is important for our age group players to participate in competitions, have good training facilities and coaches," he added.

"These are things that will help in the long run. We still need to be strong in the grass root for the national team to make progress. We should be qualifying for the Asia Cup in under-17 and under-15 quite regularly," he said.

Blatter Calls for Infantino’s Suspension

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has asked for Gianni Infantino to be suspended after criminal proceedings were opened against the latter in Switzerland.

Swiss authorities announced that proceedings were launched against the current FIFA boss by a special prosecutor who is probing into the meetings with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.

“For me, the situation is clear, that the FIFA ethics committee has to open a case against Infantino and so it has to suspend him,” Blatter, 84, said in a statement to Reuters.

FIFA's ethics committee has not said anything about if Infantino will be going through an internal investigation.

“Please note that as a general policy, the Ethics Committee does not comment on potential ongoing proceedings nor on whether or not investigations are underway into alleged cases,” it said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“As usual, any information the Ethics Committee may like to share will be communicated accordingly upon their indications.”

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