Former All India Football Federation president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi breathed his last at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi at around 12.10 pm on Monday.
He was in a coma for the past nine years after suffering a massive heart attack leading to paralysis on October 12, 2008.
As a mark of respect to the 72-year-old, who was also a veteran Congress leader and a Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, the AIFF lowered the Indian flag to half-staff at their Headquarters in Dwaraka.
Here are five lesser-known facts about Dasmunsi's stint as president of AIFF for almost 20 years.
- Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was first elected as AIFF President in December 1988 when he succeeded Khalifa Ziauddin to the post.
- Dasmunsi was fondly referred to as "Priyo-da," during his time at the AIFF. He played a pivotal role in the evolution of the game as a popular sport in the country, an AIFF tribute note said.
- It was under his tenure that India won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008, and also qualified for the AFC Asian Cup, Doha in 2011.
- An active member of the FIFA Technical Study Group Member in 1995 Women’s World Cup held in Sweden, he was also a Match Commissioner in 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted by the US.
- Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was the first Indian to be named special duty officer at the FIFA men's World Cup, during the 1998 and 2002 editions of the tournament, held in France and South Korea respectively.