Bhaichung Bhutia sharpens claws for first AIFF meet
Bhaichung Bhutia will attend the executive committee meeting of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to be held in the city on Monday, it has been learnt. Bhutia, who had lost the elections to current president Kalyan Chaubey 33-1, did not attend the first executive committee meeting held on September 3.
“Yes, he will be attending and will raise questions,” someone close to the former India captain told The Telegraph on Friday. Bhutia was co-opted as an ex-co member by virtue of being an eminent footballer. He is the senior-most former player in terms of matches played for the national team. While confirming his attendance in a letter to AIFF president Chaubey, Bhutia has also asked for a discussion on the legitimacy of the appointment of Shaji Prabhakaran as the new secretary-general. Prabhakaran, one of the key faces in the fight against former president Praful Patel’s regime, was unanimously chosen for the post by the members.
“He found Prabhakaran’s appointment perturbing given that the person himself was present in the meeting on September 3,” the source said.
“This raises serious questions about the impartiality in the whole process. Therefore, he has proposed to reconsider it. He wants the federation to put up an advertisement for the job and Sunando Dhar could be the acting secretary-general. Bhaichung is hopeful that the proposal will be made part of the agenda in the meeting,” he added. “We will answer on Monday,” an AIFF official said.