9 Candidates in AIFF Presidential Election, Bhaichung & Kalyan Among Favourites

Nine candidates will compete to become the next AIFF President, with Bhaichung and Kalyan Chaubey being favourites.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The legendary Bhaichung Bhutia on Friday filed his nomination for the president's post in the upcoming AIFF elections but getting through won't be easy for the former footballer as several candidates with political affiliations have also thrown their hats in the ring.

There are ex-footballers turned politicians and politicians who aspire to enter sports administration in the fray along with long-time sports administrator, who want to grab the top job in All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The deadline to file nominations for the post expired on Friday. The much-delayed elections are scheduled for August 28.

Bhutia's name has been proposed by his former national team colleague Deepak Mondal and seconded by "eminent woman player" Madhhu Kumari.

However, for him to succeed it is imperative that electoral college is not without former players. As of now FIFA statuettes do not allow their presence. A clear picture will emerge when Supreme court resumes its hearing on the issue on Monday. Former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey, a BJP leader from West Bengal, who has unsuccessfully fought one general and one state assembly elections, will be the biggest threat to Bhutia.


Chaubey as a footballer is no match to Bhutia but a look at the former custodian's proposer (Gujarat Football Assocciation) and seconder (Arunachal Pradesh) explains the impact his presence could make to the outcome of these elections.

Gujarat is the state of two of India's biggest political leaders (PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah) while Arunachal Pradesh is former sports minister and current Law Minister Kiren Rijiju's home state.


The ‘Others’ in What Could Be a Bhaichung vs Kalyan Fight

There Ajit Banerjee, who is IFA (West Bengal) president but his primary identity is him being the elder brother to West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

He wouldn't have entered the fray had he not had the go-ahead from the party leadership.

The third footballer in the list and youngest candidate is 36-year-old former India midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who is now an MLA. He represents regional heavyweight United Democratic Party in Meghalaya. Lyngdoh, who played for India alongside Sunil Chhetri, entered active politics when his father passed away and won the election from Mawphlang constituency.


There is NA Haris from Karnataka State Football Association, who is a local Congress MLA and a very active participant in AIFF politics.

There is a second Congress member and a surprise nominee in Rajasthan's Manavendra Singh, who was formerly with BJP.

He has been a member of Parliament in Lok Sabha and also happens to be former defence minister Late Jaswant Singh's son.


There is Valanka Alemao, the only woman candidate and a very influential administrator from Goa with support from Bhutia's state Sikkim and Daman. Valanka happens to be former Goa CM and one of strongmen from the state Churchill Alemao's daughter.

Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran, who has worked in FIFA has also filed the nomination papers for president's post but even he knows that it would be an uphill task to seek votes in case of an election.

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Topics:  AIFF   Bhaichung Bhutia   AIFF Suspension 

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