India will play Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich in a friendly here at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on January 10 next year, and AIFF decided to honour Bhaichung for his stellar contribution to Indian football on the occasion.
"I am grateful to Bayern Munich for coming over to Delhi and playing a match against the Senior Indian National Team. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will utilise the opportunity and the match will be the official farewell match for Bhaichung Bhutia," AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said at a function at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium premises on Oct 15.
"The Ministry of Sports is keen in turning the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium into a football hub and this match against Bayern Munich will only facilitate the process. Hopefully, it will be an occasion to remember for long," he added.
The already-retired Bhaichung, who was also present on the occasion, thanked AIFF for giving him one last chance to don the national colours. "I'd always wanted to retire playing a match. I stay grateful to the AIFF for giving me an opportunity to play my last match," the former India captain. "It's a challenge for me. I need to get fit and be in shape to play against the world famous club." Bhaichung retired from international football in August this year at the age of 34. He had 109 international caps under his belt and scored 43 goals during his illustrious career.