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Rediff.com  » Sports » Time to change system, says Bhutia after 'win for Indian football'

Time to change system, says Bhutia after 'win for Indian football'

Source: PTI
August 27, 2022 15:09 IST
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'I feel Indian football can reach new heights if we have the right system, right personnel in the administration.'

Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia welcomed FIFA's decision to lift suspension on the AIFF, saying it's time for reforms in India's football administration.

IMAGE: Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia welcomed FIFA's decision to lift suspension on the AIFF, saying it's time for reforms in India's football administration. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

"It's time to change the system," declared Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia on Saturday, after world football governing body FIFA lifted the ban imposed on the All India Football Federation.

 

The revoking of the ban on the AIFF late on Friday, after the Supreme Court terminated the mandate of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), has cleared the decks for India to host the FIFA Women's Under-17 World Cup in October.

"It's a wonderful news. I welcome the decision of the FIFA to lift the suspension on AIFF. It's a win for Indian football, nothing else," Bhutia said.

"I am extremely happy for our young players as they will now be able to play against the best in the business in their age group in the Women's U-17 World Cup."

FIFA had suspended the AIFF on August 15 for "undue influence from third parties" and said the Under-17 Women's World Cup "cannot currently be held in India as planned”.

The suspension, the first in the AIFF's 85-year history, lasted just 11 days after the Supreme Court, on Monday, dissolved the three-member CoA, constituted by it in May, while modifying its earlier orders to ensure that India hosts the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup from October 11-30.

The 45-year-old Bhutia, who has also filed nomination papers for the post of AIFF president in the September 2 elections, said it's time to bring changes in the country's football administration to avoid another suspension in future.

"It's also the time to learn lessons and bring in changes and reforms in the Indian football administration. We need changes in the system," said the former India captain, the first Indian to play 100 matches for the country before his retirement in 2011.

"I feel Indian football can reach new heights if we have the right system, right personnel in the administration. I am of the opinion that our age group as well as senior teams can reach the world cups on merit in the coming years."

Bhutia, who was conferred the AFC Hall of Fame Award in 2019 for his contribution to Indian football during his 16-year-long illustrious career, is set to face a straight fight against former goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey for the AIFF president's post.

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