Bhutia banned for TV dance-show outing

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NEW DELHI, June 9 - India captain Bhaichung Bhutia insists his dancing days are behind him but the club he 'neglected' to appear on a celebrity television show is now telling him to face the music. Mohun Bagan handed the 32-year-old striker a six-month ban after he missed training to feature in the dance competition, domestic media reported on Tuesday. Bhutia and his female partner won the show but he maintains he has no plans to hang up his boots and don dancing shoes full time. "We saw Bhaichung neglecting his duties towards the club for a long time. So we have decided to suspend him for six months," Mohun Bagan club vice president Subrata Mukherjee told reporters. The suspension would prevent Bhutia, seen as key to India's hopes of a good showing at the 2011 Asian Cup, from signing for another club. "He did not take anybody's permission before participating in the dance programme, he is a registered player and cannot act in this manner. "This is a message only to show that nobody is above the club," Mukherjee was quoted as saying in Kolkata daily The Telegraph. Local media had suggested Bhutia had wanted to join Bagan's fierce Kolkata rivals East Bengal but Mukherjee denied he would be released from his contract, which still has a year to run. "We don't want to talk about releasing Bhaichung," he added. "According to our contract, he will continue as a Bagan player till 2010."