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    Mar 2009


    Default Churchill Brothers bat hard to save sponsorship

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    Churchill Alemao, chief patron of Churchill Brothers football club, Friday hinted that the club was more important than individual players in a bid to salvage a multi-crore endorsement deal with aphrodisiac maker Musli Power Xtra. The deal came under strain after three footballers allegedly molested an airhostess.

    'Many players come, players go. Musli Power Xtra (club sponsors) has come to the club, not to any player,' Alemao said while addressing a joint press conference with Musli Power Xtra office bearers here in south Goa Friday morning.

    'Odafa is the best player in India now. But earlier we had Yakubu who was the best player,' Alemao said.

    Alemao is struggling to save the multi-crore endorsement deal, which came under threat after three of the club's top players, including star striker Odafa Okolie from Nigeria, were Tuesday accused of molesting an airhostess on board a Spice Jet flight to Mumbai.

    Following the complaint, the entire 23-member team, which had boarded the aircraft en-route to Kolkata to play an I-league game with Mohun Bagan, was offloaded at Mumbai airport and criminal charges filed against the three accused.

    Alemao in the press conference also refused to endorse Odafa's contention that he was being individually targeted because he was a foreigner.

    'He may be saying what is in his mind. But this is a conspiracy against the entire team, not him alone,' Alemao said.

    Earlier, T.K. Abraham, general manager of Kunnath pharmaceuticals, the makers of Musli Power Xtra, said that the company would launch a time-bound private enquiry into the episode, which would involve speaking to Spice Jet crew, police officials and passengers.

    'We will complete the enquiry within 20 to 30 days. After that we will meet again and discuss what will happen in the future after we get the other side of the story,' Abraham said, adding that the sponsorship would continue until the second meeting.

    The multi-crore three year endorsement deal between Musli Power Xtra and Churchill Brothers is one of the biggest sponsorship deals in the history of Indian football.



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