Praful to take charge as AIFF president today


PatePraful Patell, the seniormost vice-president of the national body, has been the de facto head since Dasmunsi suffered a cardiac arrest last October last year. He will constitutionally be elected president on the morrow. Despite his illness, Dasmunsi was elected unopposed last December and Patel was made acting president. Patel will be the only candidate to file his nomination on Tuesday and will be elected unopposed.

This will bring the curtains down on Dasmunsi’s 20-year reign as the head of the national body.

After the AGM, the AIFF wll felicitate national captain Bhaichung Bhutia for his 100th appearance for the country during the Nehru Cup here earlier this year.

Bhutia is the 37th Asian and 152nd international footballer to have played more than 100 matches for his country.

The Sikkimese snipper is involved in a bitter suspension row with Mohun Bagan but has been granted interim relief to play for East Bengal in the I-League.

After his election, Patel, instrumental in procuring Rs 25 crore from the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the development of football, will have to clear the mess the national body is in.

The National under-16 and under-19 for boys, under-19 for girls, and under-13 Festivals for boys and girls were to be held by October or November but no dates have been fixed as yet nor the host state finalised.

The under-19 I-League, an important part of the youth development programme, was supposed to start this month but nothing has been heard of it till now.
Similarly, the last Executive Committee meeting on August 30 had finalised the final round of the Federation Cup in Guwahati from December 15 and the qualifiers from this month but there is no clue when the qualifiers will start.

The August Executive Committee meeting fixed the date for interviews for the post of General Secretary on September 23 and 24 but none of the eight candidates for that post and five for the I-League CEO has been called for an interview.

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