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Monitors show up, AIFF key official no-show

Sunando Dhar made the acting general secretary
Representational image.
Representational image.
File Photo.

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 21.06.22, 01:26 AM

The day the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Windsor John-led Fifa-AFC joint delegation team landed in the capital to take stock of the situation in the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kushal Das, the general secretary, went on leave on health grounds.

Sunando Dhar, the officer on special duty to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) which runs the show in the AIFF now, has been made the acting general secretary. Dhar, previously, had served as the leagues’ chief executive officer.

“Mr Kushal Das, general secretary, has proceeded on leave on account of his health issues, and therefore the Committee of Administrators has appointed Mr Sunando Dhar as an acting general secretary, who would be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the federation under the guidance of the Committee of Administrators,” a CoA statement said.

The CoA had a meeting with Das on Monday where the latter expressed his desire to go on leave and it was accepted. John and his team are set to meet Supreme Court-ousted president Praful Patel on Tuesday morning where Das was also supposed to be present. The delegation members are also expected to meet Union sports minister Anurag Thakur and other stakeholders during their stay.

There have been allegations of financial irregularities in the AIFF. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), with the approval of ministry of youth and sports affairs, is probing the case.

“The timing of Das’s decision is interesting. A Fifa-AFC delegation is in New Delhi and the CAG is probing the allegations of misappropriation of funds,” a source told The Telegraph on Monday. Das, citing health reasons, was not present when the CoA had a meeting with the member associations regarding the new constitution on June 11. “This was coming,” an official of a member association said.

Fifa did not impose an immediate ban on India after the Supreme Court’s May 18 verdict. The delegation will submit its report to football’s world governing body.

“The Committee of Administrators will do the needful for holding an election as per the new constitution suggested by the Honourable Supreme Court as soon as possible and thereafter, the constitution shall be placed before the AIFF general body for its approval.

“The committee would also be working with the assistance and cooperation of all stakeholders,” the CoA statement added.

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