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AIFF Elections: Bhaichung Bhutia Smells ‘Negotiation’ In AIFF General Secretary Appointment, Incumbent Shaji Prabhakaran Denies It

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AIFF Elections: Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who recently lost the All India Football Federation (AIFF) presidential election, has questioned the…

AIFF Selection: Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who recently lost the All India Football Federation (AIFF) presidential election, has questioned the appointment of Shaji Prabhakaran as its general secretary, saying that “electing an elector to a salaried post will create a wrong precedent”. Follow InsideSport.IN for football latest updates

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AIFF Elections: Bhaichung Bhutia Smells ‘Negotiation’ In AIFF General Secretary Appointment, Incumbent Shaji Prabhakaran Denies It

Prabhakaran, who was in the electoral college representing Football Delhi, was named AIFF general secretary a day after former India goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey beat Bhutia 33-1 in the September 2 presidential polls.

Bhutia has requested the AIFF to include this issue of appointment of Prabhakaran, which he raised, in the agenda of the executive committee meeting to be held in Kolkata on Monday.

Prabhakaran resigned as president of Football Delhi on 6 September, the day before he took charge as AIFF general secretary. Bhutia argued that appointing a selector to a salaried position in the AIFF later has an element of “negotiation”.

“He (Prabhakaran) was a voter and president of an association (Football Delhi), appointing him to a salaried position will set a wrong precedent,” Bhutia told PTI on Saturday.

“I would have no problem if he had been appointed to an honorary position. Next time and going forward, someone will negotiate to vote to get a paid position after the election.”

Bhutia, the poster boy of Indian football for more than a decade until his retirement in 2011, said “No chairman of a state association and a voter has not been appointed to a salaried position so far”.

AIFF Elections: Bhaichung Bhutia Smells ‘Negotiation’ In AIFF General Secretary Appointment, Incumbent Shaji Prabhakaran Denies It

Prabhakaran, on his part, said he had joined the post with good intentions to serve Indian football and nothing else. He denied any kind of negotiations or quid-pro-quo in the run-up to the AIFF elections.

“I accepted the position in good faith with the intention of serving Indian football. There was no give and take, nothing like that (leading up to the election),” said Prabhakaran.

“Bhutia is an executive committee member and he is free to raise issues. When he raises this issue during the meeting (on Monday), I am sure the executive committee will take a call (to discuss it or not).

Normally, the AIFF General Secretary is an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee without voting rights.
Bhutia, who is one of the six former players co-opted into the AIFF’s executive committee with voting rights, did not attend the first meeting of the body on September 3 but said he will appear in Kolkata on Monday.

“This (membership of the executive committee) is given through a decision of the Supreme Court and not given by the federation or the sports ministry. So I would like to honor the SC’s decision to recognize my contribution to Indian football.

“I have also consulted my lawyers and they said it would be a bad precedent if I do not take up this position. Also, I am always there to help and support the development of Indian football and I will continue to do so to do,” Butia concluded.

AIFF Elections: Bhaichung Bhutia Smells ‘Negotiation’ In AIFF General Secretary Appointment, Incumbent Shaji Prabhakaran Denies It

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