Kolkata: Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, former All India Football Federation (AIFF) President and a Congress leader passed away at a private hospital in New Delhi on Monday. He was 72 and had been in coma since 2008.
A former union minister, Dasmunsi suffered a massive stroke and paralysis in October 2008 and was in coma ever since. He had been admitted at the Apollo Hospital in the national capital since 2009. “He breathed his last at 12:10 pm. He developed chest infection last month and it worsened his condition,” sources in the hospital confirmed, as quoted by The Hindu.
President of the AIFF from 1988 to 2008, Dasmunsi was also the first Indian to serve as a match commissioner in a FIFA World Cup game. He withheld the charge during a game in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and was also the match commissioner during the Spain-Tunisia group stage match at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Following his role at The World Cup, the 72-year-old was a part of the legal committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and also a member of the standing committee in the apex football governing body, the FIFA.
Dasmunsi was the AIFF President when he suffered a stroke, in 2008 after which current head Praful Patel had to take his post an an interim chief, before being elected the president.
The veteran is survived by his wife Deepa and son Priyadeep. He was a passionate about football and wanted to guide India to new heights in the game. Talking about him, former Indian captain and football legend Bhaichung Bhutia said, “He was very passionate about football. He had football in his blood. He went out of his way in being supportive when I was playing for East Bengal. His passion and love for the game was easily seen by everyone.”