AIFF President Accused of Corruption, Misuse of Funds

AIFF President Accused of Corruption, Misuse of Funds

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been rocked by allegations of corruption, with Principal Legal Advisor Nilanjan Bhattacharjee accusing President Kalyan Chaubey of misusing funds and awarding tenders in a non-transparent manner.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhattacharjee alleged that Chaubey had created “corruption avenues” through non-transparent tender processes and preferential allotment of contracts. He claimed that Chaubey had attempted to “siphon off money from the federation’s exchequer” and used AIFF funds for personal expenses.

Bhattacharjee specifically cited the awarding of broadcasting rights for the I-League, IWL, and Santosh Trophy to a single company that he alleged was close to Chaubey. He also claimed that crores of rupees had been spent on Chaubey’s personal trips and hotel stays.

Chaubey has denied the allegations, calling them “baseless” and stating that he would take legal action. He said that he had gone through the allegations and would respond legally.

Bhattacharjee, who was appointed as Principal Legal Advisor after Chaubey took charge in September 2022, said that he had suggested safeguards in subsequent tenders, but Chaubey had attempted to “malign” his image and professional integrity.

The allegations have raised concerns about the transparency and accountability of the AIFF, which is the governing body for football in India. The federation has been under scrutiny in recent months, with several former officials facing corruption charges.

The Prime Minister’s Office has not yet commented on the allegations, but the Sports Ministry has said that it is aware of the matter and is looking into it.