Updated March 13th, 2024 at 14:16 IST

AFC asks ousted AIFF legal head to submit evidence of corruption charges against Kalyan Chaubey

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has asked the AIFF's ousted legal head, Nilanjan Bhattacharjee, to submit evidence for the allegations of corruption he has levelled against national federation head Kalyan Chaubey, calling it a serious matter.

AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey | Image:AIFF

 The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has asked the AIFF's ousted legal head, Nilanjan Bhattacharjee, to submit evidence for the allegations of corruption he has levelled against national federation head Kalyan Chaubey, calling it a serious matter.

AIFF president Chaubey on March 6 served a legal notice to the organisation's former principal legal advisor Bhattacharjee for accusing him of corruption.

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Bhattacharjee, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has alleged that Chaubey was part of non-transparent tender processes and made attempts to "siphon off money from the federation" for personal expenses.

Taking cognizance of the matter, the AFC has asked Bhattacharjee to submit a "full written report" by March 18.

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"We refer to the attached media articles in which we note that allegations relating to corruption have been made by you against the All India Football Federation (AIFF) President, Mr Kalyan Chaubey.

"In light of the seriousness of this matter, we kindly request that you provide the AFC with a full written report setting out your position on the matter by 18 March 2024 at the latest," Deputy Secretary to the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee, Barry Lysaght, wrote in a letter addressed to Bhattacharjee, on Tuesday.

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"Such report should include (without limitation) details of the allegations, any evidence to support such allegations, any steps taken by you to address the allegations at the AIFF (or any other body/person) and any other relevant information or documentation relating to this matter." Chaubey has called allegations "baseless", accusing Bhattacharjee of trying to damage his reputation.

Bhattacharjee has remained steadfast on his position and has claimed that during his tenure, he once refused to sign a "lopsided" agreement with airlines company Indigo where "a minimum guarantee of Rs seven crore" was to be given for content creation rights against "no incentive to Indian football".

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But Chaubey has given a point-by-point rebuttal to the allegations by Bhattacharjee, who said he will submit all his evidence to AFC by the due date.

"I am happy because at least the AFC chose to take note of my allegations while everybody within the AIFF, except very few people, decided to keep mum. This can be the beginning," Bhattacharjee told PTI.

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"I will submit all the evidence I have with me to the AFC within the stipulated time given by AFC.

"Any individual who thinks about Indian football can join me and share anything they have," he added.

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Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia also waded into the controversy and called for Chaubey's resignation.

"There has been a lot of negative stories going on regarding AIFF administration. But the AFC taking note of corruption allegations against Kalyan and may be AFC looking to open an investigation, it has the possibility to seriously damage reputation of Indian football," he reasoned.

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"For some time it has been a mess in Indian football administration. The controversial sacking of Secretary General and the legal head making serious corruption allegations against Kalyan and later his termination...

"...nothing is going right in AIFF administration. Kalyan should resign taking responsibility of all this and new elections should be held to clean up Indian football," he said. 

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Published March 13th, 2024 at 14:16 IST