New Delhi– In a last-ditch attempt to make a mark in the Presidential election of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) scheduled on September 2, football icon Bhaichung Bhutia on Tuesday appealed to the football associations of Northeast India to vote in his favour as he believes that he is the best man for the job.
“I have been a proud son of Northeast India and represented the region to the best of my ability in the 20-odd years of my career. Today, I represent the Northeast again to contest the post of President of the AIFF. Our region is the hub of Indian football and we have become a factory for producing footballers for the country. It is therefore high time for a Northeastern person to lead the Federation,” Bhaichung wrote in the letter.
He also told the federations in the northeastern states that it is not the time to get pressurised by political influence, football should be the lone criteria.
“Indian football has suffered a lot over the decades because of political interference and this is a great opportunity for us to course correct, revive football in our country and bring it up to international standards,” Bhaichung said.
He also assured that if he gets elected as AIFF President, his immediate commitment to the states will be as follows:
* Annual financial support (Rs 30 to 50 lakh) to every state for the purpose of conducting grassroots leagues and state leagues.
* Support state-level players in coaches’ training programmes and produce many more qualified local coaches.
* Conduct a separate state level, Northeast league.
* Get many more deserving members of the state football associations into AIFF committees.
Help state associations technically on all football-related matters.
“These are all achievable and I sincerely appeal to all Northeast football associations not to get pressurised by outside factors. We need to ensure this for the greater good of football in the Northeast and for Indian football at large,” Bhaichung concluded. (IANS)