The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has condoled the demise of former India midfielder and coach Krishnaji Rao, who passed away on Sunday in Bengaluru.
He had made his senior international debut in 1966 at the Asian Games in Bangkok and represented India at the Asian Cup Qualifiers in 1967 in Rangoon (now Yangon) and the Merdeka Cup in 1968 in Kuala Lumpur.
AIFF President Praful Patel, in his condolence message, said, “It is really sad to hear that Rao is no longer among us. His invaluable contribution to Indian Football will always remain with us. I share the grief.”
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AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, “Rao was an exceptional midfielder who enjoyed great success at the domestic and international levels, and also served Indian football as a coach. My sincere condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Additionally, Krishnaji Rao served as the Indian team’s assistant coach during its tour of England in 2000 and was the Technical Director in 2001 at the Merdeka Cup, Pre-World Cup, Sahara Millennium Cup and tour of England.
At the domestic level, he represented and captained Mysore in the Santosh Trophy on multiple occasions, winning it in back-to-back years — 1967 and 1968.
He also played for CIL in Bangalore and would later serve as Technical Director for Karnataka and head coach for HAL in Bengaluru in the 1990s.