New Delhi: Seeking to put an end to the controversy, AIFF President Praful Patel today congratulated Alberto Colaco for winning AFC Distinguished Service Award 2011 and said the former general secretary`s nomination for the award was "endorsed and submitted" with his consent.
"It`s a matter of great pride and honour that, Mr Colaco`s distinguished service with the federation has been recognised and he has been bestowed with this coveted award," Patel was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the All India Football Association.
The release said Colaco’s nomination was submitted and endorsed with Patel`s consent as the nominee for this prestigious award.
Yesterday, former AIFF General Secretary Colaco`s winning the award kicked off a controversy with top officials accusing him of recommending himself without consulting the executive committee.
Senior AIFF officials said nobody knew who recommended Colaco`s name as it was never discussed by the executive committee as should have been the norm while Colaco claimed that he consulted President Praful Patel who agreed to it.
"Colaco recommended his name by himself. It was never discussed at the executive committee nor has it been informed about this. Nobody knew about Colaco`s nomination for the award. We were surprised that he got the award since we have not recommended his name," a senior executive committee member told PTI on condition of anonymity.
When contacted, Colaco said he consulted AIFF president Praful Patel before sending his name to the AFC.
Colaco was chosen for the 2011 AFC Distinguished Service Gold Star Award for his work in development of Indian football. He will receive the award during the 24th AFC Congress Gala dinner on January 5 in Doha.