New Delhi: All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday elected Kalyan Chaubey as its President. For the first time in AIFF’s 85-year history, a former player has been elected as President for the top post. 45-year-old Chaubey defeated ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ Bhaichung Bhutia 33-1 in the 34-member voters’ list made up of state association representatives.
Choubey, a BJP politician who lost the Krishnanagar seat in West Bengal in the last Lok Sabha elections, never played for the Indian senior team, though he was part of the team on a few occasions. Chaubey has played as a goalkeeper for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. Bhutia and Choubey were once teammates in East Bengal.
We congratulate Mr. @kalyanchaubey on being elected as the President, Mr. @mlanaharis as the Vice President, and Mr. Kipa Ajay as the Treasurer of the All India Football Federation 🙌🏼#AIFFGeneralBodyElections2022 🗳️ #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/YRwexiUntx
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) September 2, 2022
In his first reactions after the polls, Bhutia was quoted as saying , “I will keep working for the betterment of Indian football in future. Congratulations to Kalyan, I hope he will take Indian football forward.
“Thanks to all football fans across India for showing supporting me so much. I’ve been working for football before the elections, and will continue to do the same. Yes, I’m there in executive committee.”
The elections of the AIFF office bearers brought to an end a sordid saga which saw the ouster of former president Praful Patel for failing to hold polls due in December 2020, the formation of the Committee of Administrators and its ensuing removal by the Supreme Court, and the suspension of India by world football governing body FIFA for “undue influence from third parties”.
The new executive committee comprises G P Palguna, Avijit Paul, P Anilkumar, Valanka Natasha Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Menla Ethenpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali, K Neibou Sekhose, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali and Syed Imtiaz Husain.
Bhutia, I M Vijayan, Shabbir Ali and Climax Lawrence will be in the EC as players’ representatives.
(With PTI Inputs)