Legendary Bhaichung Bhutia on Friday filed his nomination for the post of president in the upcoming All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections, while former player Kalyan Choubey emerged as the front runner for the top post. Former captain Bhutia was proposed by his one time national teammate Deepak Mandal and supported by Madhu Kumari. Kumari is part of the Electoral College as a ‘distinguished’ sportsperson.
“I have filed my nomination as the representative of eminent sportspersons. In view of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow players, I am hopeful that the players can get a chance to serve Indian football. We want to show that we are not Can be good not only as players but also as administrators,” Bhutia told PTI.
Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran has also filed nomination papers for the post of President.
Former player Eugeneson Lyngdoh and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother Ajit Banerjee are also filing nominations through the Meghalaya Football Association.
Lyngdoh is currently serving as an MLA in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
The last date for filing nominations ends on Friday.
Former India goalkeeper Choubey, who has played for both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, appeared to be ahead in the race for the top position, like his illustrious contemporary Bhutia.
Choubey is a member of the ruling BJP, but what may work in his favor is that his name has been proposed by the Gujarat FA and approved by the Arunachal Pradesh Football Association.
While the country’s Home Minister is from Gujarat, Arunachal’s Kiren Rijiju heads the Law Ministry.
The AIFF Executive Committee election is to be held here on August 28.
Choubey has entered the fray as a general candidate, something that could further escalate his case as world football governing body FIFA is not in favor of the country’s apex body run by eminent players.
Earlier this week, hours before FIFA’s ban on the AIFF, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that governs football in India agreed to hold elections to the sporting body as per the wishes of the world body without giving voting rights to “eminent” players. Had it.
In a major blow to the country, FIFA on Tuesday suspended India for “undue influence from third parties” and said the U-17 Women’s World Cup “cannot be held as planned in India at present”.
The Supreme Court had said that the AIFF’s executive committee would consist of representatives from 36 state associations and 36 representatives of eminent football players, 24 men and 12 women.
Players must have played at least one international match representing India and must have retired from international tournaments two years before the date of notification of the election.
Known as the ‘Sikkimese sniper’ for his goal-scoring skills, the 45-year-old former captain Bhaichung is regarded as one of the great footballers of the country. The charismatic striker was the first Indian footballer to play more than 100 matches for India.
He retired from international football a few months after playing in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar, making his debut in 1995.
He played for top Indian clubs such as JCT, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during an illustrious career, besides spending a few seasons at English side FC Buri (1999 to 2002).
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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