Chaubey elected new AIFF president

The 45-year-old Chaubey, who played as a goalkeeper, emerged winner with a comprehensive 33-1 margin, a result which was expected as former India captain Bhutia did not have many supporters in the 34-member voters’ list.
(from left) Newly-elected AIFF treasurer Kipa Ajay, president Kalyan Chaubey and vice-president NA Haris
(from left) Newly-elected AIFF treasurer Kipa Ajay, president Kalyan Chaubey and vice-president NA Haris

NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday got a former player as its president for the first time in its 85-year history when Kalyan Chaubey trounced the legendary Bhaichung Bhutia in the election for the top post here.

The 45-year-old Chaubey, who played as a goalkeeper, emerged winner with a comprehensive 33-1 margin, a result which was expected as former India captain Bhutia did not have many supporters in the 34-member voters’ list. Chaubey’s predecessors – Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and Praful Patel – were full-time politicians.

Chaubey, a BJP politician who lost the last parliamentary election for the Krishnanagar seat in West Bengal, never played for the India senior team although he was in the squad on a few occasions. He, however, represented the country in age-group international tournaments. He was also a former goalkeeper at Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Football Association president NA Haris, a sitting Congress MLA, won the election for the lone post of vice-president, beating Manvendra Singh of Rajasthan FA 29-5. Arunachal Pradesh’s Kipa Ajay beat Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh for the treasurer’s post 32-1 with one vote being invalid. All the 14 candidates who had filed nominations for as many executive committee members’ posts were elected unopposed.

‘Won’t sell dreams’

Addressing a press conference hours after his election as the new AIFF president, Chaubey said that he would not make “unrealistic promises”.

“We will not come before you to sell dreams. We will not say: ‘we have established so many academies and we will play in the World Cup in eight years’. We are not making any promises, but we will say that we will take Indian football forward from the current condition. How much we will go forward will be worked out. We are not going to sell dreams,” Chaubey emphasised.

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