By Jagannath Chatterjee
New Delhi, May 19 (IANS): Welcoming the decision of the Supreme Court to appoint a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to look after the affairs of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), former India captain Subrata Bhattacharya on Thursday termed it as "a very good decision".
The CoA headed by former Supreme Court judge AR Dave also comprises SY Qureshi, ex-Chief Election Commissioner and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian football team.
Bhattacharya, who played with Ganguly in the national team as well as at the club level, expressed delight that finally a footballer has been given the opportunity to look after the football affairs in the country.
"It is a very good decision. Bhaskar worked very hard during his playing days to reach where he is today. But though he played for the country, like many of us, he never got the opportunity to serve India after retiring. I hope he will do a good job now that he is part of the CoA," Bhattacharya told IANS.
Echoing similar sentiments, Mehtab Hussain, another former India footballer who recently hung his boots, said that the decision to include a footballer in the decision-making committee is a welcome step.
"It always helps if a football personality is there in the top decision-making body for the sport in the country. In fact, that is what happens everywhere else in the world. Like in cricket, where former players like Sourav Ganguly and others are in top positions, the governing body for football should also include footballers. This will help the federation understand the game and the footballers better," Hussain told IANS.
However, the poster boy of Indian football, Bhaichung Bhutia, preferred not to comment on the issue.
He only said that Bhaskar Ganguly is already associated with the federation for the last three/four years and it's not new, and he won't like to make any comment now.
The Supreme Court-appointed CoA will look into the affairs of AIFF and also help adopt the AIFF constitution in line with the National Sports Code. It will also see how the long-pending elections of AIFF could be organised.