New Delhi:The former All India Football Federation (AIFF) vice-president, treasurer and executive committee member AR Khaleel passed away on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 91.
Khaleel is survived by his wife and four daughters.
AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey condoled the demise of Khaleel, who was also the former president of the Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA).
"It is sad to know that AR Khaleel is no more. His death has left an eternal void in Indian Football administration. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult hour," said Chaubey.
A prominent face in the Indian football administration for nearly six decades, Khaleel was also active at the continental level, and on occasions was a member of Asian Football Confederation Standing Committees.
"Khaleel ji was one of the foremost football administrators of his time, and played a big role in popularising the game in India, especially in Karnataka. His demise has left Indian Football poorer," said AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran.
A president of the KSFA for 28 years till 2018, Khaleel had worked for the game in various capacities. He was a footballer, who ran Jawahar Union FC, one of Bengaluru's traditional clubs, was an administrator par excellence, and served Karnataka football as an office bearer for many years.
He also donned managerial roles for the Indian national teams in various age groups. In Karnataka football, Khaleel will always be remembered for the exemplary work he did in acquiring land and building the Bangalore Football Stadium, owned by the KSFA.