Former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey emerged victorious in the two-horse race for the AIFF President's post. The 45-year-old pipped Indian footballing legend Bhaichung Bhutia by a margin of 33-1 votes.
Following his victory, Chaubey, while speaking to the media, underlined that all eminent Indian footballers will be involved in the federation as they take on different challenges facing the sport.
“I want to involve all eminent footballers to work on the different challenges Indian football is facing today, and to realize the dreams of the respective states. After 100 days, we plan to unveil the roadmap for Indian Football and take the next step,” the 45-year-old stated.
Chaubey was touted as the frontrunner in the presidential election, right from the time he filed his nomination. His nomination was backed by Mulrajsinh Chudasama, the general secretary of Gujarat Football Association and seconded by Kipa Ajay, the secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Football Association. Hence, it wasn't a complete surprise when the former Salgaocar custodian trumped Bhutia for the top job.
However, Chaubey welcomed the views of his rival in the election going, stating:
“Bhaichung’s contribution to Indian Football can never be forgotten. I will definitely welcome his views, and take everyone’s views into consideration.”
Kalyan Chaubey reveals he received a call from the FIFA President after the election results
The AIFF presidential election came following a tumultuous time in Indian football, which saw the AIFF being banned by FIFA owing to "undue third-party influence." However, the world footballing body has revoked those suspensions.
Chaubey revealed that he received a call from FIFA President Giovanni Infantino following his election as the new AIFF President. The discussion centered around the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, which will be hosted by India in October.
“I received a call from the FIFA President. He wanted to meet me in Zurich or Doha later this year. I briefed him the importance of the next few days. We have the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 next month, and told him that we need to discuss amongst ourselves how we plan to take things forward. We will then present our plans to him in detail,” the two-time 'Goalkeeper of the Year' award winner stated.
The Indian footballing faithful will be hoping for the newly elected committee to lead the country to a brighter footballing future.