Thursday, April 18, 2024

Former general secretary Kushal Das rues ‘mess’ in AIFF


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New Delhi, March 6: Kushal Das, the former general secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), who oversaw the activities of Indian football for over a decade, has expressed shock over the recent developments in the game’s governing body.
Speaking to IANS, Das said, “I am shocked, surprised and at the same time saddened by what is happening in the Federation. I have worked in the AIFF for 12 years, and I have never seen anything like this before.”
Das’ remarks came after the now-removed legal advisor to AIFF, Nilanjan Bhattacharjee, levelled serious corruption allegations against federation president Kalyan Chaubey, which led to Bhattacharjee’s sacking on Tuesday.
The allegations followed the sacking of AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran in November last year due to “breach of trust”, a decision on which the Delhi High Court put a temporary stay earlier this year.“I have heard of differences among elected members in other federations, but this is a direct confrontation between senior employees and the President, involving allegations of large-scale corruption.“For the sake of football, I hope a proper solution is arrived at before it destroys the credibility of the AIFF completely,” Das told IANSIn fact, it was the duo of Chaubey and Prabhakaran who had opened a new chapter in the AIFF after the former became the first ex-player to get elected as the Federation President.The duo started work raising new hope with lots of promises, before suddenly all hell broke loose.
Terming the duo as ‘inexperienced’, Das said they should have built up on the existing structure rather than trying to bring about a sea change.
“I think it was impractical to expect two people with no experience of running an organisation to bring about radical changes in a complex environment, in which the AIFF operates. In fact, there was no need for a big change.“AIFF was fully functional with all departments properly manned and as the former CEO, I can say that all the departments had the right manpower, experience, capability, and competence to deal effectively with all the complexities,” Das told IANS.
The former AIFF official said the Indian Super League (ISL) was clearly established as the top league, and a clear roadmap for promotion and relegation between ISL and I league was put in place.
“The Indian Women’s League (IWL) was slowly growing. The men’s team had come down to within 100 in FIFA rankings. While efforts were being made to develop a robust youth development system, Indian Arrows, the U-20 team playing in the I-League, was regularly providing players for both ISL and I-League teams and subsequently to the senior national team. (IANS)


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