Patel elected president; Colaco stays secretary


Patel, the civil aviation minister in the UPA government at the centre, was elected to the top post unopposed at the Annual General Body meeting of the AIFF at its headquarters here.

Patel had been the acting president of the AIFF since Dasmunsi suffered a cardiac arrest last October.

“I really thank everyone for the support you have offered to me and I hope we all will work together for the upliftment and development of the game in the country,” Patel said in a statement issued by the AIFF.

Dasmunsi held the post of AIFF president since 1988 before encountering the heart attack, which left him bedridden. The AGM also decided to appointed Dasmunsi as the honorary president of the AIFF.

At the AGM, national coach Bob Houghton also presented his plan for the development of the senior team for the preparation of various tournaments, including the AFC Asian Cup 2011.

Meanwhile, AIFF did a U-turn and said incumbent general secretary Alberto Colaco’s contract has been extended till the end of this year.

Patel said the Annual General Body Meeting decided to renew Colaco’s contract till December 31.

“After Colaco’s term ended last December he has been without a proper contract. The AGM today decided to renew his contract till December 31,” Patel told reporters here.

“We are happy with the present dispensation. We have called for interviews, and as and when we feel the need of a new general secretary, we will appoint one,” he added.
Patel also announced that Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who played the main role in India’s Nehru Cup triumph in August here, has been chosen as the “Footballer of the year”.

AIFF also felicitated national captain Bhaichung Bhutia for his 100th appearance for the country during the Nehru Cup.

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

 Patel said a good show in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup would be the first step towards reviving the game in the country.

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