The All India Football Federation (AIFF) elected Kalyan Chaubey, 45, as their new president on Friday (September 2) during the general body meeting (GBM). The former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goalkeeper pipped Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia by a margin of 33-1 votes.
Chaubey's election comes after a tumultuous saga in Indian football, which saw the AIFF being suspended by FIFA owing to "undue third-party influence". The country's footballing fraternity will hope that Praful Patel's successor can right the wrongs during his tenure. He is the first former professional footballer to be elected to the top job in 85 years of its existence.
Right from the time he filed his nomination, the former Salgaocar custodian was touted as the frontrunner in the presidential election, thanks to the backing he had from Mulrajsinh Chudasama, the general secretary of Gujarat Football Association and seconded by Kipa Ajay, the secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Football Association.
Meanwhile, Bhaichung’s name was proposed by Gopalakrishna Kosaraju, the president of the Andhra Pradesh Football Association and seconded by Dileep Singh Shekhawat, the secretary of the Rajasthan Football Association.
The new AIFF boss was an established footballer during his professional stint, winning the 'Goalkeeper of the Year' award twice (1997-98 and 2001-02). His immediate duty as the new president will be to overlook the smooth sailing of the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup that will be hosted by India in October.
NA Haris elected as vice-president of the AIFF
Following the counting of votes in the presidential election, Karnataka FA president NA Haris also emerged victorious in the race for the post of vice-president of the AIFF. He won by a margin of 29-5 votes against Rajasthan's Manvendra Singh.
Meanwhile, as only 14 candidates have filed their nominations to be on the executive committee, all of them are set to be declared elected. The candidates are GP Palguna, Avijit Paul, P. Anilkumar, Valanka Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Menla Ethenpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali, K. Neibou Sekhose, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali, and Syed Imtiaz Husain.