Saturday, Aug 20, 2022 08:00 [IST]
Last Update: Saturday, Aug 20, 2022 02:31 [IST]
GANGTOK,: 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 one-time national teammate Deepak Mondal and seconded by Madhu Kumari. Kumari is part of the electoral college as an ‘eminent’ player, as per national media.
“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 media.
Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran has also filed the nomination papers for the 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 the world football governing body FIFA is not in favour of the 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.