New Delhi: The legendary Bhaichung Bhutia on Friday filed his nomination for the president’s post in the upcoming All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections even as former player Kalyan Chaubey has emerged as the front runner in the race for the top job.
Former captain Bhutia was proposed by his onetime national teammate Deepak Mondal and seconded by Madhu Kumari.
Kumari is part of the electoral college as an ’eminent’ player.
“I have filed my nominations as representative of eminent players. In the wake of the SC decision to allow players, I hope the players can have a chance to serve Indian football. We want to show we can be good not only as players but also as administrators,” Bhutia told PTI.
Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran has also filed the nomination papers for president’s post.
Also filing the nominations are former player Eugeneson Lyngdoh, through the Meghalaya Football Association, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother Ajit Banerjee.
Lyngdoh is currently serving as an MLA in the Meghalaya legislative assembly.
The deadline for filing nominations ends on Friday.
Chaubey, a former India goalkeeper, who has played for both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, like his illustrious contemporary Bhutia, appeared to be ahead in the race for the top job.
Chaubey is a member of the ruling BJP but what could work in his favour is that his name has been proposed by the Gujarat FA and seconded by the Arunachal Pradesh football association.
While the country’s Home Minister hails from Gujarat, Arunachal’s Kiren Rijiju heads the Law Ministry.
The AIFF elections to the executive committee are to be held here on August 28.
Chaubey has entered the fray as a normal candidate, something that could push his case further as world football governing body FIFA is not in favour of a country’s apex body being run by eminent players.
Hours before the FIFA ban on AIFF earlier this week the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running football in India had agreed to hold the sports body’s elections without giving voting rights to ’eminent’ players as per the world body’s wish.
In a massive setback for the country, FIFA on Tuesday suspended India for “undue influence from third parties” and said the U-17 Women’s World Cup “cannot currently be held in India as planned.
The Supreme Court had said that the electoral college for the executive committee of the AIFF would have representatives from 36 state associations and 36 representatives of eminent football players, 24 male and 12 female.
The players should have played at least one international match representing India and retired from international tournaments two years prior to the date of notification of the elections.
Known as the ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ for his goal-scoring prowess, former captain Bhaichung, 45, is considered one of the country’s greatest footballers.
The charismatic striker was the first Indian footballer to have played more than 100 matches for India.
He retired from international football a few months after playing in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar, having made his debut in 1995.
He had played for top Indian clubs like JCT, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during an illustrious career, besides also spending a few seasons at English side FC Bury (1999 to 2002).
- IAF’s Sukhoi, Mirage aircraft crash in MP’s Morena; one pilot killed
- Assam: Police seize Yaba tablets worth Rs 1 crore in Karimganj, launch probe
- Inclusion of villages in Bodoland divides people, non-Bodos protest
- Recycled and uninspiring: Why ‘Pathaan’ is a yawn fest
- Shringla on Aizawl visit to review preparedness for G20 meeting
- BJP releases list of 48 candidates for Tripura Assembly polls