India's football star Bhaichung refuses to join Olympic torch relay

IANS, March 31, 2008

New Delhi, India -- To express solidarity with the Tibetan struggle for freedom, India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has declined to be a part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay in India.

“I got an invitation from the Indian Olympic Association a couple of weeks ago to join the Olympic torch relay, but I turned it down as I want to express my solidarity with the Tibetans’ struggle,” Bhaichung, a Buddhist, told IANS Monday.

The torch, which reached Beijing Monday, is scheduled to arrive in India April 17, and the Tibetans have threatened a protest march that day.