Goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey-AIFFs First President

Story Highlights
  • Kalyan Chaubey beats beat former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia in the AIFF President race.
  • The goalkeeper won at 33-1, an overwhelming margin.

In the AIFF elections held on Friday, Chaubey beat former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia 33-1, an overwhelming margin. He is the first president of the AIFF in its history of 85 years.

The 45-year-old Chaubey, who played as a goalkeeper, 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’, is one of the biggest legends in Indian football and his candidature has got the election additional traction. 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 a few occasions.

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 29-5. Arunachal Pradesh’s Kipa Ajay beat Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh for the treasurer’s post 32-1 with one vote being invalid. All the 14 candidates who had filed nominations for as many executive committee members’ posts were elected unopposed.

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 committee now comprises of 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.

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