Former India striker Shyam Thapa replaced Bhaichung Bhutia as chairman of the AIFF technical committee even as several of the other sub-committees of the federation were revamped following the All India Football Federation's Executive Committee meeting here on Thursday.
The EC also included former players Abhishek Yadav and Ishfaq Ahmed as members of the technical committee, taking the number of footballers in the body to five including Pradip Dutta, Prosanto Banerjee and Henry Menezes, who has been named its new vice-chairman. Bhutia's deputy Savio Messias has been been omitted but the Goan is now part of the Ethics Committee of the AIFF.
Yadav, incidentally, is also the AIFF's talent scouting director and also the Chief Operating Officer for the Indian Under-17 team.
Thapa was last part of the AIFF as coach of the Indian under-16 and under-19 teams in the late 1980s. Ahmed, who is part of the Kerala Blasters in the ISL, would have to quit that role.
The committee also decided to set up a Players' Benevolent Fund with Patel contributing $2,00,000 for the same. The amount is part of the TA/DA allowances provided to be part of the AFC meetings which Patel apparently never claimed. An amount of $1,00,000 would also be given to the AFC Social Development Reform Programme.
The EC also approved the next three-year calendar including the Federation Cup in Cuttack (May 7-21) with the season's top eight I-League teams participating. The AIFF also decided to implement a ranking system for the state associations.
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