Retired Indian football Mehtab Hossain was all over the news yesterday. The East Bengal and Mohun Bagan legend made headlines after he decided to step into politics, and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, just within 24 hours, the former player has taken a U-turn, and has decided to leave the party!
“What I was doing wasn’t enough. People were really suffering and it wasn’t sufficient. That’s why I joined politics and decided this was the best way to help people,” said Mehtab Hossain, who has been actively involved in welfare and philanthropic duties in West Bengal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, just a day after his welcome ceremony at the BJP headquarters in Kolkata, Hossain has broken ties with the party, stating that his near and dear ones weren’t happy with his decision of joining the party.
“I wanted to join politics to do something good for the people. But my own people who love me do not want to see me in politics; there is no point joining any political platform,” Hossain wrote on Facebook.
“I have realised that they prefer seeing me in the green fields of the football ground, not in the political battlefield. They have requested me not to join direct politics,” the former defensive midfielder added.
My family has not supported my move. They still want me to be known as ‘Midfield General’. I cannot do anything which will make my family unhappy,” the 34 year old concluded, “from today, I am not associated with any political party.”
Hossain has represented India 31 times at the international level, and scored in two occasions. He is currently the manager of I-League 2nd Division sides Southern Samity. During his career, he has played for both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, the two heavyweights of Kolkata. He played for 10 seasons with the former, winning Federation Cup three times.
During his decade long spell with East Bengal, Hossain made his first apperance in the Indian Super League, and played two seasons with Kerala Blasters FC on loan. In 2017, he left Bangal Brigade to join Jamshedpur FC. Before his retirement last year, Hossain returned to the Marines in 2018.