Vijayan, Bhutia among 36 'eminent' former players in electoral college for AIFF elections

Indian footballers Jo Paul Ancheri, Bhaichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan pictured in May 2001 J. R. LOKE/AFP via Getty Images

The All India football Federation has included 36 'eminent' players, including Bhaichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan, in the list of voters comprising the electoral college for the general's body elections, which are to be held on August 28.

The list of eminent players also includes the likes of Shabbir Ali, Climax Lawrence, Renedy Singh and Jo Paul Ancheri, among others. It also has 12 female representatives including Bembem Devi.

As per the Supreme Court's order on August 3, the returning officer Umesh Sinha has "scrutinised and prepared the final list of voters (comprising nominees of state associations' and eminent players) forming the electoral college," the AIFF said in a statement. "The returning officer will take up objections raised, if any, on the electoral college, on August 14, 2022 and decide on the same by 10 AM IST on August 16, 2022," it added.

On Friday, former and current India footballers, including the legendary Bhutia and Sandesh Jhingan, welcomed the move to grant ex-players the voting rights in the AIFF elections following Supreme Court's order, even though the state associations are not happy with it.

The Supreme Court had on August 3 directed holding of elections to the executive committee of the AIFF by forming an Electoral College made up of 36 representatives of state football associations and 36 eminent former football players.

The sport's world governing body FIFA had, however, said in an earlier letter to the AIFF that having equal number of state association representatives and former players in the electoral college "is not a prudent idea" though it had agreed to having 25% eminent player representation in its Executive Committee as co-opted members instead of the 50% stipulated in the draft constitution.

Here's the full list:

Eminent players (Male):

- Baichung Bhutia
- IM Vijayan
- Shabbir Ali
- Climax Lawrence
- Gouramangi Singh
- Renedy Singh
- Jo Paul Ancheri
- Syed Rahim Nabi
- Parminder Singh
- Prasanta Banerjee
- Tarun Dey
- Deepak Mondal
- Babu Mani
- Surkumar Singh
- Prasun Banerjee
- Aloke Mukherjee
- Mauricio Alphonso
- Manoranjan Bhattacharya
- N P Pradeep
- Bruno Coutinho
- Clifford Miranda
- Brahmanand
- Biswajit Bhattacharya
- Atanu Bhattacharya

Eminent players (Female)

- O Bembem Devi
- Pinky Bompal Magar
- Thongam Tababi Devi
- Madhu Kumari
- Ronibala Chanu
- Tuli Goon
- Geetarani Chanu Nameirakpam
- Kangujam Rebika Devi
- Sujata Kar
- Thangjam Ranjita Devi
- Gitanjali Kuntia
- Thoi Devi Hijam

(With inputs from PTI)