Boosting its newfound status of being the capital of Indian football, Goa will now have its own representative in the top echelons of the game’s governing body after Mr Shrinivas V Dempo was elected as Vice President of the All India Football Federation on Thursday.
Mr Dempo, who is also the Director at Dempo Sports Club and the president of Goa Football Association, will represent west zone and is one of the five vice presidents elected in the Annual General Body Meeting of the AIFF held at the Football House in New Delhi. Praful Patel was unanimously re-elected as the president.
K M I Mather (south), Subhash Chopra (north) and Larsing Sawyan (north-east) are the other vice-presidents while Subrata Dutta (east) will be enjoying his third term as vice-president.
The elections were held in the presence of observers from the government, world body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials Radhica Sreeman and P C Makholia were present on behalf of the government while Mun Si Song represented AFC. FIFA was represented by Shaji Prabhakaran, a regional developmental officer, south and central Asia and consultant Monika Staab. SK Agarwal, a retired judge of Delhi High Court, was the returning officer.
Mr Dempo’s name was proposed for the post by the GFA during its executive meeting held at Duler last month. The majority of the executive members of the GFA had felt that Mr Dempo, who also owns the country’s number one football club–Dempo Sports Club Pvt Ltd, would be the right choice to contest for the vice president’s position as he would be able to form an ideal link between Goa and AIFF considering his gigantic stature in Indian football.
The executive committee members also believed that Mr Dempo has the best credentials to be the right candidate to represent AIFF as West Zone’s vice-president, a position which, they thought, could prove highly influential in ensuring that Goan football in particular would benefit through his good offices and the kind of cordial rapport he shares with the top brass of AIFF.