Bhutia questions AIFF secretary-general Prabhakaran’s appointment

Published on Sep 17, 2022 11:17 AM IST

On September 3, Prabhakaran was seen at an event in Mumbai. The Football Delhi website still has Prabhakaran as president but his Twitter profile says he is a former head. On September 6, Prabhakaran had tweeted that it was his last day as head of Delhi’s football unit.

File photo of former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia(ANI)
File photo of former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia(ANI)

Bhaichung Bhutia has asked the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to “reconsider” Shaji Prabhakaran’s appointment as secretary-general. Bhutia, a former India captain and the first to play over 100 internationals, has written to new AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey proposing this be included in the agenda for Monday’s executive committee. HT has a copy of the letter.

Bhutia has confirmed in the letter that he would attend the meeting in Kolkata. As the most capped among former internationals with 107 appearances, Bhutia heads the list of eminent players six of whom have been made part of the new executive committee. He didn’t attend the first meeting, on September 3, one day after losing 1-33 to Chaubey in the AIFF elections.

“On the face of it, there appears to be some grave discrepancies,” Bhutia has said, referring to the first executive committee meeting. “On a reading of the draft minutes, it appears that despite not being a member of the EC, he (Prabhakaran) remained present through the meeting,” he has said. The committee considering Chaubey’s endorsement of Prabhakaran “in his presence” is, according to Bhutia, “perturbing” and raises questions about the “impartiality in the appointment process.”

On September 3, Prabhakaran was seen at an event in Mumbai. The Football Delhi website still has Prabhakaran as president but his Twitter profile says he is a former head. On September 6, Prabhakaran had tweeted that it was his last day as head of Delhi’s football unit.

Bhutia proposed that the secretary-general's appointment be made in a “fair and transparent manner” through a “detailed advertisement” that invites applications and after the “EC has approved and finalized (sic) the same.” Till that happens, Bhutia said Sunando Dhar, who as acting general secretary before Prabhakaran, be asked to continue.

“I have received the letter and it will be discussed at the executive committee meeting,” said Chaubey when asked for a reaction on Friday.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Dhiman Sarkar is based in Kolkata with over two decades as a sports journalist. He writes mainly on football.

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