Kalyan Chaubey has been elected the new president of the AIFF. He bested Bhaichung Bhutia comprehensively in the election, winning 33 out of 34 votes. Chaubey replaces long-time president Praful Patel.
There will be a short-term plan on September 7, and a detailed roadmap for Indian football presented 100 days after the first Executive Committee meeting, he announced at a press conference.
Chaubey, 45, is a former goalkeeper who is currently a politician with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Indian Goalkeeper of the Year in 1997-98 and 2001-02 played for both Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, while also having a stint at Goan powerhouse Salgaocar.
Chaubey's election win comes in the wake of a fractious few weeks which saw AIFF suspended by FIFA after the court appointed Committee of Administrators sought to implement a radical change in the electoral college of the AIFF. They had proposed 36 eminent players be a part of the voting, but acquiescing to FIFA's demands, the Supreme Court ordered AIFF to conduct elections as it always has - with votes coming in only from the state bodies (member associations).
Earlier, in an interview to the Times of India, Chaubey had said he would do what a footballer would do for fellow footballers, should he become the president. Chaubey had also pointed to the lack of official infrastructure and the lack of professionalism in the everyday running of certain state associations. He had said that it was imperative for the state associations to have their own office, as it was critical for planning and policy-making. He had added that AIFF would help the state associations build their own "Football House" if they had a minimum area of 10,000 sq.ft. He had also pointed out the need to have equal focus on both men's and women's football for the development of the sport in the country.
Karnataka FA president N A 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. Kosaraju and Manvendra had proposed and seconded Bhutia respectively.
All the 14 candidates who had filed nominations for as many executive committee members' posts were elected unopposed. The new executive committee comprises G P Palguna, Avijit Paul, P Anilkumar, Valanka Natasha Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Menla Ethenpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali, K Neibou Sekhose, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali and Syed Imtiaz Husain.
Bhutia, I M Vijayan, Shabbir Ali and Climax Lawrence will be in the EC as players' representatives.