Former AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco winning the AFC Distinguished Service Award has kicked up 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 said on condition of anonymity.
"The normal procedure is to take the matter to the executive committee before recommending anybody's name. AFC informed the AIFF to nominate names of an administrator, coach and referee for three awards. Nobody from the executive committee was asked who should be nominated. But Colaco nominated his name in the administrator's category and none from the other two," he said.
Colaco, when contacted, said he consulted AIFF president Praful Patel before sending his name to the AFC.
"I asked the president about this and he agreed. After that I sent my name," said Colaco, who relinquished office early this month after nine years at the job.
Asked whether it was not necessary to get the executive committee's approval, Colaco said, "It is not necessary and if some people are not happy with the recommendation of my name. Bad luck to them."
Colaco was chosen for the 2011 AFC Distinguished Service Gold Star Award for his work in development of Indian football.
Colaco will receive the award during the 24th AFC Congress Gala dinner on January 5, 2011 in Doha.
The AFC executive committee presents Distinguished Service Awards in three categories to AFC Executive Committee members and/or Board members and/or coaches and/or referees and those who have rendered meritorious services to the development and promotion of football in the Asian continent.
Individuals who have served 30 years or above are eligible for AFC Gold Star while those who have served 20 years or above and 10 years or above are eligible for Silver Star and Bronze Star.