regular-article-logo Thursday, 05 October 2023

All India Football Federation core committee to monitor key areas

There have been suggestions that the committee has been formed to clip Shaji Prabhakaran’s wings

Angshuman Roy Calcutta Published 02.06.23, 05:13 AM
AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran.

AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran. AIFF

The All India Football Federation has formed a core committee to oversee, in collaboration with secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran, some key areas of functioning of the executive committee, raising speculation if all was well within the organisation.

The five-member core committee has NA Haris, Congress MLA from Bangalore and AIFF vice-president, as the chairman and Avijit Paul as the vice-chairman. Lalnghinglova (Tetea) Hmar, Mulrajsing Chudasama and Vijay Bali are the other members. The group has been formed on the eve of an important finance committee meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Friday.


The letter, dated May 30, signed by AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey, is in possession of The Telegraph.

“Core committee will be managing the following areas in close collaboration with the secretary general. 1. Procurement and tendering; 2. Budget and financials; 3. Infrastructure, office renovation and new project developments; 4. New staff recruitment and old staff release; 5. NFC and club football organisational decisions,” the letter states.

The executive committee is believed to have been unaware of the formation of the core group.

There have been suggestions that the committee has been formed to clip Prabhakaran’s wings. Haris, however, denied it. “No way. There is nothing to read between the lines here. The committee has been formed so that things move faster and there is clarity. This five-member group will work in tandem with the secretary general,” Haris told The Telegraph from Bangalore on Thursday afternoon.

But there have been murmurs of anger and frustration among the members about the way Prabhakaran was running the show. In a meeting held in New Delhi on May 29, questions were raised by a couple of influential office-bearers asking if the AIFF is deviating from the core issue, which is the development of the game in the country. The core committee was formed a day later.

“Every meeting in sports is supposed to be fiery. That is called democracy,” Haris said.

One senior AIFF official, who did not wish to be named, said the way football was being run since the new body came was not what the state associations had envisaged.

“For the last four years, we are not being able to organise junior and sub-junior national championships.

“After the new body took over the reins (in September), we thought the age-group tournaments will get more importance. But strangely, the budget allocation this time also was negligible. Obviously, questions will be asked,” the official said.

Chaubey, a former footballer, and Prabhakaran have been travelling since taking charge to do brainstorming with European and West Asian football associations on how to raise the standard of Indian football.

One such move was to take the Santosh Trophy in Riyadh earlier this year.

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