AIFF interviews Gen Secy candidates; N Korea friendly scrapped

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation
has begun their search for a new General Secretary with two
candidates being interviewed by the emergency committee for
the post which would be vacant early next year.

Kushal Das, a former Chief Financial Officer of
International Cricket Council and CFO IMG and Pricewaterhouse
Coopers, and Biswajit Mitra, head of International Business
section for Tata Steel in Kolkata, appeared before the AIFF
Emergency Committee here yesterday.

The committee comprises of AIFF President Praful Patel,
five vice-presidents -- Subrata Dutta, Ankur Dutta, Joaquim
Alemao, Vinod Sharma and AR Khaleel, treasurer Hardev Jadeja
and General Secretary Colaco.

A top AIFF source said no more interviews will be held
and the new General Secretary will be chosen from among the
two interviewed.

"It is final and one of the two will be chosen General
Secretary in place of Alberto Colaco next year," he told reporters.

Incumbent Colaco is expected to leave the post after
India`s campaign in the January 7-29 Asian Cup in Doha, Qatar.

Colaco, who was appointed as honorary secretary in 2000
and made General Secretary of AIFF in 2004, has been
expressing his desire to leave the post.

Meanwhile, with national coach Bob Houghton reportedly
disagreeing with the proposal of India playing friendlies
against African sides, the committee could not finalise the
schedule for the national side`s international matches next
month and October.

The source said the committee only finalised the two
matches against Thailand -- on September 4 in Bangkok and on
September 8 at Ambedkar Stadium here.

He said the match against North Korea, planned to be
played on September 14 in Delhi, has also been scrapped as the
East Asian country did not confirm their visit to India.

"We are not going to play against North Korea. They are
not coming. We had planned a match against either Namibia or
Gambia on September 18 in Delhi but Houghton does not like it.
So we have asked Colaco to speak to the coach," he said.

According to the earlier plan, besides the match against
Thailand, the capital`s Ambedkar Stadium was to host North
Korea (September 14), either Gambia or Namibia (September 18)
and Turkmenistan (September 22 and 26).

But Houghton did not want to play against African sides
as he thought playing against them won`t serve any purpose as
India are preparing for an Asian event. He also felt
Turkmenistan was not strong enough as India had beaten them in
the recent past.

Meanwhile, the AIFF is exploring the option of playing an
international game in Guwahati and Orissa and the venues there
will be inspected next month. It was also planned to hold an
international friendly in Pune in October but the Balewadi
Complex facility there is giving headache to the concerned

The committee also decided to field the newly-formed AIFF
XI in the Federation Cup to be held in the first week of
October. It also rejected East Bengal and Pune FC`s plea not
to use their contracted players in AIFF XI.

The federation also cleared the Indian under-15 side`s
one-year training at the IMG Academy in Florida, United
States. The training will be sponsored by IMG-Reliance.


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