Kalyan Chaubey beats Bhaichung Bhutia, AIFF gets first player president
Kalyan Chaubey, a BJP politician who lost the last parliamentary election for the Krishnanagar seat in West Bengal, never played for the India senior team though he was in the squad on few occasions
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday got a former player as its first president in its 85-year history with Kalyan Chaubey beating the legendary Bhaichung Bhutia in the election for the top post in New Delhi.
The 45-year-old Chaubey, a former goalkeeper with Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, won 33-1, a result that was expected as former captain Bhutia did not have many supporters in the 34-member voters' list made up of state association representatives.
The 'Sikkimese Sniper', also 45, could not even get his state association representative as proposer or seconder for filing his nomination papers.
Chaubey, a BJP politician who lost the last parliamentary election for the Krishnanagar seat in West Bengal, never played for the India senior team though he was in the squad on few occasions.
He, however, played for India in age-group international tournaments. He was also a former goalkeeper at both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
In fact, Bhutia and Chaubey were one-time teammates at East Bengal.
Karnataka Football Association president N A Haris, a sitting Congress MLA, won the election for the lone post of vice president, beating Manvendra Singh of Rajasthan FA.
Arunachal Pradesh's Kipa Ajay beat Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh for the treasurer's post.
Kosaraju and Manvendra proposed and seconded Bhutia.
All the 14 candidates who had filed nominations for as many executive committee members' posts were elected unopposed.
The polls were earlier scheduled to be held under the aegis of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on August 28.
But, in a verdict on August 22, the SC terminated the mandate of the CoA, disallowed the inclusion of 36 former players in the electoral college and postponed the polls by a week in order to salvage the Women’s U-17 World Cup whose hosting was jeopardised after FIFA suspended the AIFF.
The world football governing body though lifted the ban on August 26, clearing the decks for India to host the Women’s U-17 World Cup in October.
(with agency inputs)