Kolkata, Nov 20 (IANS) All India Football Federation (AIFF) senior vice-president Subrata Dutta and former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia mourned the demise of ex-president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi on Monday, saying he changed the face of Indian football during his time at the helm.
“His contribution to football cannot be forgotten,” Dutta told IANS over phone.
Dasmunsi, 72, was in coma since October 13, 2008.
“He started the National Football League and brought professionalism in Indian football. He appointed Alberto Colaco as the first professional general secretary during his time and I also became the vice-president in 2004 under him,” Dutta reflected.
It’s a very sad development,” Bhutia said.
“He was the president for a long time and his contribution to Indian football has been massive. He was not well for a very long time.
“He was very passionate about football and coming from Bengal football was in his blood. He was very supportive when I was playing in East Bengal,” the Indian football icon added.
Dasmunsi in 2006 became the first Indian to be a match commissioner in a FIFA World Cup game when he performed the role in a group stage game between Australia and Croatia in the 2006 World Cup.
Dasmunsi was heading the Indian football governing body at the time of his stroke in 2008, which led to Praful Patel taking over as president.
He is survived by his wife and son.