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AIFF appoints Baichung Bhutia as Advisor

Baichung Bhutia and Praful Patel
Pelé and the AIFF U-17 Colts

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed former India captain Baichung Bhutia as the “Advisor” for “overall issues of the game and the federation”.

AIFF President Praful Patel tweeted on Sunday morning from his official account @praful_patel saying: “Have appointed Baichung Bhutia as Advisor to AIFF and myself for the overall issues of the game and the federation.”

Patel followed it up in another tweet saying: “Welcome on board Baichung. First call improving the Indian National Team and readying the boys for World Cup U-17.”

Speaking to AIFF Media, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said: “We look up to Baichung to advice us on improving the National Team’s performance and also help in the development of the squad for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.”

“Furthermore, we look forward to his advice on the Licensing Criteria of State FAs, development of clubs and all other domestic competitions, both men and women and across all age groups,” Das stated.

Bhutia, who is already the Chairman of the AIFF Technical Committee, told AIFF’s Official Twitter handle @AIFFMedia that he was “looking forward” to the role.

“I intend to work and coordinate with all stakeholders including the clubs and the State FAs to take Indian football forward,” he informed.

“I would focus on Youth Development Programmes and restructuring and professionalizing the respective State Football Associations,” he added.

“I want to form a core group to guide and provide support to the State Football Associations. The scouting programmes need to be in place as well as the Grassroots Programmes,” he added. “We need to have a long term vision.”

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)