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Misappropriation Allegations: AIFF President Sends Legal Notice for Defamation

For making false allegations of misusing funds, the President of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF), Kalyan Chaubey, served a legal notice on the former Andhra Pradesh Football Association (APFA) President, Gopalakrishna Kosaraju, on February 1, 2024.

Kosaraju had sent an email to the executive committee members of the AIFF on January 29, alleging misappropriation of AIFF funds. This email referred to Chaubey’s misuse of the Federation’s credit cards for making personal purchases and raised questions about his flight trips to Bangalore, which did not coincide with official AIFF programs. There were several other allegations made pertaining to office renovations, certain payments made to Kaleidoscope Productions & Services LLP, etc. Assertions were also made against AIFF Treasurer Ajay Kipa.

Terming these as unsubstantiated defamatory allegations attributable to defeat in the AIFF elections, Chaubey sent a legal notice calling upon the former APFA President to tender a written public apology within seven days. The notice mentioned that, on failure to do so, legal action would be taken. It was added that the AIFF President reserved the right to seek compensation for damages incurred on account of the defamatory statements.

However, instead of tendering an apology, Kosaraju is said to have called for Chaubey’s resignation. Highlighting the misuse of the public exchequer, he insisted in his reply to the legal notice that the allegations made in his email were not false. Days later, the AIFF’s principal legal advisor, Nilanjan Bhattacharjee also levelled corruption allegations against Chaubey, which ultimately led to his sacking.