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Indian Football : Kaun Banega Secretary - Reloaded?

Some of you might remember that on my old website I had written a series of articles under the headline titled “Kaun Banega Secretary”, named after a popular tv show, the search for a new AIFF General Secretary to replace Alberto Colaco. That was about 14 months ago, nothing really happened with Mr. Colaco extending his tenure for a year until the end of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in January 2011. Now the whole search process has been restarted with all the old candidates off the list and new one’s being brought in by a head hunter company.

The task on hand for the new General Secretary is multiple as he would have to work to develop Indian Football on different fronts – professional & amateur, seniors & juniors, men’s & women’s. A task to take our football forward and continue to professionalize the running of the federation, which will also have to grow further. Surely not an easy task for whoever takes the job and you would need someone with football knowledge and insights, contacts in the football world, an understanding on how Indian bureaucracy works, lobby on international bodies in India’s interest, handle administration of a national body plus work with government agencies and private sponsors.

Surely not an easy task as with the right new man the AIFF can ensure that they get even more grants from FIFA and the AFC to fast track our development, be it the professionalisation of the I-League, the infrastructure and administration. These would just be the key areas for development.

On Wednesday the Emergency Committee met in New Delhi to discuss pressing issues and also interview two candidates. The Emergency Committee comprises of AIFF president Praful Patel; its five vice-presidents – Subrata Dutta, Ankur Dutta, Joaquim Alemao, Vinod Sharma and A.R. Khaleel; treasurer Hardev Jadeja and general secretary Alberto Colaco. The candidates who appeared for the interview where Kushal Das and Biswajit Mitra.

Here we take a closer look at the backgrounds of the two candidates, who some within the federation say are currently the only candidates in the fray for the post of AIFF General Secretary, while others say more candidates could be interviewed in the coming weeks.

Kushal Das until recently was the Chief Financial Officer of the International Cricket Council (cricket’s global body). Before that he was for 12 years with IMG in India and South Korea. Prior to that he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Vegepro Foods (GlaxoSmithKline) and Bharat Shell. And Biswajit Mitra meanwhile is the head of the International Business section at Tata Steel in Kolkata.

Surely interesting profiles. But one will have to wait and see if one these two gentlemen will become the new General Secretary of the All India Football Federation or if other candidates will be interview by the federation in the weeks to come.

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