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Calls for Investigation Into AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey’s Controversial Involvement with Production Vendor Payments

Allegations of misconduct have been swirling within the All India Football Federation (AIFF) over the past few months, culminating in a fierce war of words between the recently ousted Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran and AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey. Shaji Prabhakaran has publicly accused Chaubey of ‘misdeeds’ during his 22-month tenure as President, raising questions about his extraordinary interest in a production vendor’s payments.

In a detailed letter addressed to the presidents and secretaries of AIFF member associations and the executive committee, a copy of which has been obtained by IANS, Shaji has spotlighted several issues that have plagued his tenure. A key point of contention is Chaubey’s alleged favoritism towards a particular production vendor, which has sparked calls for an investigation.

“There must be an investigation into why Kalyan Chaubey, as President of the AIFF, took extraordinary interest in releasing payment to the production vendor. On several occasions, he specifically visited the office to sign cheques for this vendor. Why was there such urgency? What explains his undue interest in these production matters?” Shaji asked pointedly.

Shaji’s accusations do not stop at the lax financial practices. He has also implied a lack of transparency in the overall operations, questioning the President’s motivations.

Upon being approached for comments, Kalyan Chaubey, who is presently engaged in his by-election campaign in West Bengal, dismissed Shaji’s letter, drawing attention to its timing and questioning its legitimacy. “Why is he raising these questions now?” Chaubey posed to the media through IANS. “Only recently, the outgoing head coach of the national team, Igor Stimac, voiced concerns about Shaji Prabhakaran’s removal, stating it wasn’t beneficial. Now, Shaji appears to be aligning with Stimac’s viewpoint. Is this an attempt of mutual back-patting?” Chaubey retaliated.

The tension within AIFF has been palpable and public opinion is divided.

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. Some insiders suggest that the timing of the accusations indicates a potential power struggle within the federation. Others, however, argue that the allegations point to deeper systemic issues that need addressing to restore trust and integrity in the organization.

Shaji’s allegations gain further credence with historical context—this is not the first time financial irregularities within AIFF have been surfaced. Critics argue that an in-depth investigation into these claims could be the tip of the iceberg, potentially uncovering more widespread issues of governance within the organization.

Observers note that, in the wake of recent statements and counter-statements, there is an increased urgency for transparent proceedings. The allegations, if proven true, could significantly impact the reputation of the AIFF and its leadership.

Another angle drawing attention is the connection made between Shaji’s sacking and the comments made by Igor Stimac. Stimac, a respected name in the football community, said unequivocally in his last press conference that Shaji’s removal could not bode well for the Federation. Aligning with these sentiments, Shaji’s recent letter seems to suggest a united front, which begs the question—are these allegations a sign of a rallying point for a faction within the AIFF against the current leadership?

The future of AIFF’s leadership hangs in the balance as more stakeholders weigh in on the controversy. For now, Kalyan Chaubey remains firm in his stance, denying any wrongdoing, and framing the allegations as politically motivated attacks designed to undermine his leadership essentially.

In the broader perspective, the situation reflects the challenging nature of sports administration in India, where past administrations have often been dogged by controversies and disputes. The current episode underscores the need for reform and the establishment of robust mechanisms to ensure accountability and transparency.

The call for an investigation into the conduct of the AIFF President exemplifies a push towards cleaning up the system and restoring faith among the many stakeholders of Indian football. Whether these efforts will lead to substantive change remains to be seen. The footballing community in India will be keeping a keen eye on how these allegations are addressed in the coming weeks and months.