Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia has made a comeback as AIFF advisor as his contract has been renewed for another one year term.
“His contract had expired in November last year. His contract has been renewed for one year,” AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta told PTI on Tuesday.
There were reports that Bhutia had fallen out of the AIFF after Colm Toal was not appointed India Under-17 coach with governing body roping in Portuguese Luis Norton de Matos.
Bhutia was also removed from the technical committee of the AIFF and was replaced by veteran Shyam Thapa in March.
The former India captain was appointed advisor to AIFF and to president Praful Patel in October 2015 for overall issues of the game looking ahead to the U-17 World Cup as he was instrumental in bringing back India coach Stephen Constantine.
During his tenure, India’s national ranking had leapt from 175 to 130 as they are set to be ranked number 101 in the FIFA rankings to be released on April 6.
“From 175 to 101 is a big improvement. It had not happened in last 20 years. If win two more games, then we would certainly break into top-100. Going ahead into the U-17 World Cup in October, it’s a big boost. We will be focussing more on grassroots programme,” Dutta said elaborating on Bhutia’s role.