The 50-year-old was serving as the President of Football Delhi since 2017.

Shaji Prabhakaran has been appointed as the new AIFF Secretary General after an executive committee meeting held earlier today. The newly elected President Kalyan Chaubey proposed Shaji Prabhakaran’s name for the post. The same was approved by all the members. The 45-year-old said, “Dr. Shaji’s previous experience as FIFA Regional Development Officer will bring in new and fresh ideas, which will provide the much-needed fillip to Indian football.”

In the meeting, President Kalyan Chaubey mentioned about the presence of former footballers in the committee. He said, “This is the first time that six former eminent players are part of the committee as per the order of the Honourable Supreme Court. We need to work together, and at no time should any personal ego come as a roadblock on our endeavour to take Indian football forward together. Discipline is the key to success and we need to be accountable as per the deadlines set.”

Former goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey defeated Bhaichung Bhutia by a margin of 33-1 to become the new AIFF President. NA Haris and Kipa Ajay were elected as the Vice President and the Treasurer, respectively.

About Shaji Prabhakaran

Prabhakaran started his career with AIFF as the Director of Vision and national teams, also working with FIFA. He was previously elected as the president of the Delhi Football Association, now known as Football Delhi. He has served as the chief of Football Delhi since 2017.

Prabhakaran completed a Ph.D. in Physical Education, specializing in football. He resigned from a lecturer’s post to coach at the Chandigarh Football Academy for four years. Prabhakaran joined AIFF in 2004 and took charge of youth development and coach education. He started grassroots programs such as the successful Manipur Vision India project during his initial tenure.

After his AIFF stint, Prabhakaran worked as the Regional Development Officer in South and Central Asia. He also enjoyed a stint with the AFC as a Senior Consultant. Speaking to IANS before the elections, Prabhakaran had said, “My expectation from the new AIFF setup is that as a new team, it should take the best possible guidance and support from whoever possible, and I will always be there for any kind of support. That way we can move ahead and create a very positive and warm environment whereby Indian football gets the right headline in terms of moving forward.” 

Interestingly, Prabhakaran has authored a book titled, “Back to the Roots: A Definitive Guide to Grassroots & Football Development.”  The other appointments approved by the AIFF Executive Committee include Sunando Dhar as the Deputy Secretary General and IM Vijayan as the Chairman of the Technical Committee. Former midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Climax Lawrence, Harjinder Singh, Arun Malhotra and Pinki Bompal are the other members of the Technical Committee. Notably, veteran footballer Shabbir Ali has been appointed as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee.

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