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Rustam Akramov bid adieu to the world at 73; the former football coach flew Indian football team at peak

Rustam Akramov died at his native place in Uzbekistan. The former coach had helped the legendary former Indian footballer and a captain, Baichung Bhutia, take a whiff of the international game in 1995.

The legendary Uzbek Coach and a man behind the transformation of the then football team of soviet died at his residence in Uzbekistan at 73 on February 15. Rustam Akramov had taken the men in blue, Indian football men’s team, to a peak and had also introduced former captain and legendary footballer, Baichung Bhutia to an international stage in 1995. According to the information shared by the official website of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan: “The National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan, the Council of Sports Veterans of Uzbekistan express their condolences to the family and friends of Rustam Akramov in connection with his death.”

His contribution to the Indian football team from 1995-to 1997 remains eternity as his effort had helped the Blue Tigers advance in the FIFA rankings under Baichung Bhutia. Akramov saw a spark in young Baichung Bhutia who preferably played as a midfielder until the former head coach shaped him up to fit as a striker. Bhutia made his debut under Akramov in 1995 against Thailand. In 1996, under Akramov, the Indian Football team had leaped at 94th position in the FIFA rankings – one of its highest-ever climb. Rustam Akramov went trophy less yet his achievement to shape up the Indian Football team into a promising one speaks at length over his career as a coach.