AIFF fiasco: Ex-secy Shaji, president Chaubey engage in war of words

New Delhi, Jul 10 (IANS) Allegations have been flying thick and fast in the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in the last few months and now ousted secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran has torn into president Kalyan Chaubey, pointing fingers towards the latter’s ‘misdeeds’ during his 22 months in the top seat.

In a letter addressed to the presidents and secretaries of AIFF member associations and members of the executive committee, a copy of which is in possession of IANS, Shaji has brought to light a number of issues including a case of undue favour shown by the president towards a production vendor.

Shaji also alleged that the president showed undue haste in releasing payment to the vendor. However, he refrained from naming the vendor in his letter.

“There must be an investigation into why Kalyan Chaubey as President of the AIFF took extraordinary interest in releasing payment of the production vendor. In some cases, he specially visited the office to sign the cheques of this vendor. What was the hurry? Why was he taking undue interest in the production matters?” Shaji questioned.

Elaborating further, Shaji said, “I remember Kalyan Chaubey speaking to me and share impressive things about this vendor, and specifically asking me to visit their office in Kolkata. In one such visit to Kolkata, he took me to their office to show studio facilities, etc. On that visit, I was interviewed in their studio for a halftime show in an I-League match.”

When contacted, AIFF president Chaubey, who was busy with his by-election in West Bengal, questioned the very legitimacy of Shaji’s letter. “Why is he asking all these questions now?” Chaubey told IANS.

“Now that the outgoing head coach of the national team, Igor Stimac, has said in his last press conference that sacking of Shaji Prabhakaran can’t be good, he has come out in support of the coach? Shall we see it as patting each other’s back,” Chaubey countered.

Chaubey also said that since he was out of the country, the extension of ousted head coach’s decision was taken by the core committee and the committee’s decision was made known to Shaji through an email (a copy of which is with IANS) by the acting general secretary.

That mail specifically said that there should be a termination clause favourable to AIFF. Following is the core committee’s decision: “The CC Members under chairmanship of NA Haris have proposed to the AIFF President that the coach Igor Stimac could be offered a two-year contract with a monthly salary of US$ 30,000 from January 2024 onwards but with certain clauses that:

1. Restricts him from speaking to the media without prior permission from AIFF;

2. Stimac refrains from making any adverse comments on AIFF and any of its stakeholders.

3. If accepted then the legal team to go through the details before putting pen to paper with a termination clause favourable to AIFF.”

Signing off, Chaubey said, “Before making allegations, Shaji should clarify his actions.”



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