Bhaichung Bhutia accepts his defeat humbly and thanks every Sikkimese for supporting him
AIFF Presidential candidate Bhaichung Bhutia

Kalyan Chaubey, former goalkeeper for India and a BJP MLA from West Bengal, has won the All India Football Federation (AIFF) presidential election by securing 33 votes, while former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia managed to get only one vote in his favour.

“I accept my defeat with humility. I have been a servant of football for more than two decades and I will continue to do so. I understand my followers and well-wishers are upset but I want to tell them that I am very very grateful to everyone who has supported me and rooted for me,” Bhaichung Bhutia said after the results were announced.

Bhutia credited his supporters for being “able to hold my ground despite immense political pressure to withdraw”.

“I have been striving to clean the football at Sikkim and national levels and I promise that I will keep working towards the betterment of football at the state and national levels. One day football shall win, keep the faith alive,” Bhutia added.

Bhutia’s Hamro Sikkim Party congratulated its working President for fighting a great battle against all odds for the post of AIFF president.

“Although he lost the election due to extreme political interference, the kind of love and support people of Sikkim have shown towards Bhaichung Bhutia across all sections is heart-warming,” said Biraj Adhikari, General Secretary of Hamro Sikkim Party.

Adhikari added that Bhutia didn’t sell his honour and soul “despite lots of political pressure from the mighty national party (BJP)”.

“Hamro Sikkim Party condemns the entire political lobby and people like Menla Ethenpa who choose the ‘winning horse’ by match-fixing over football and its betterment. Now HSP hopes that Mr. Ethenpa will bring Rs 40-50 lakh as funds per year for the betterment of football for Sikkim,” Adhikari said.

Also Read | Sikkim: Vijay Bhushan Pathak appointed Chief Secretary

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