Kalyan Chaubey

Former India goalkeeper and West Bengal BJP leader Kalyan Chaubey beat another former international footballer Bhaichung Bhutia to become the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on September 2.

This is for the first time in 85 years of AIFF existence that a former player will be holding the top post.

Chaubey beat Bhutia, who even failed to get his state association representative as propose or second him, by a 33-1 margin.

Cahubey and Bhutia were teammates in the East Bengal team. Kalyan Chaubey never played for team India senior squad though he was picked on a few occasions. He played for India in age-group international tournaments.

Karnataka Football Association president NA Haris, a Congress MLA, won the election for the lone post of vice president, overwhelming Manvendra Singh of Rajasthan FA.

Kipa Ajay of Arunachal Pradesh outsmarted Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh for the treasurer’s post.

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 Supreme Court 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 lifted the ban on August 26, clearing the decks for India to host the Women’s U-17 World Cup in October.

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