Football Delhi chief levels serious charges against AIFF boss, Patel’s office denies allegations

Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran has written a letter to the All India Football Association (AIFF) chief Praful Patel, saying that the annual expenditure of Rs 3 crore towards meeting legal costs was significantly high and not justified for football’s governing body in the country.

However, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das has refuted the allegations, including the expenses incurred on legal matters.

In his letter to the AIFF president (a copy of which is in IANS possession), Shaji wrote, “Annual expenses of Rs 3 crore on legal matters is significantly high and not justified for AIFF. Money saved here should be spent on organising National Youth Championship, Youth Leagues, and Youth National Teams Exposure and Camps.”

He added that the legal team had ‘not brought any progress to the case in the last three years’.

“You personally want this case to be settled at the earliest and thus, a new set of lawyers will be given a maximum of three months to settle this case,” Shaji wrote in the letter.

Giving his side of the story, Kushal Das told IANS, “I don’t know why he (Shaji) is saying this. AIFF is not spending so much money on legal matters. The legal and professional expenses including the PR agency are much lower than what Shaji has given. And above all, every detail is mentioned in the AIFF website.”

“Legal cost is only one crore and the total cost is Rs 2.23 crore. There are many cases from state associations also, so the figure he has given is not up to the level,” he added.

Shaji has suggested to the AIFF president that being the FIFA Council member and head of the AIFF, Praful Patel can suggest to FIFA to urgently place a ‘Normalisation Committee’ in India which would then manage the affairs of the AIFF till the elections of the new executive committee.

However, Kushal Das said that the suggestion to appoint a ‘Normalisation Committee’ is not in the best interest of the sport in the country.

“I don’t know how he can say like that. Perhaps he does not understand the consequences of the ‘Normalisation Committee’. If FIFA appoints a normalization committee then India cannot play any matches. Election of AIFF is sub-judice now, so we have to wait for that,” Das said.

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