Former All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel on Friday congratulated Kalyan Chaubey on being elected as the new head of the country's football body, saying that the former goalkeeper will take Indian football to "greater heights and glory".
Chaubey defeated Bhaichung Bhutia 33-1 in a one-sided election for the post of president, while NA Haris defeated Rajasthan Football Association president Manvendra Singh 29-5 to become the vice-president of the country's football body.
Patel said he is hopeful that Kalyan Chaubey will take Indian football to greater heights.
"Congratulations to former India goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey on being elected as the new president of AIFF. I am sure he will take Indian football to greater heights and glory. I extend my whole-hearted support to him for the betterment of this beautiful game and wish him all the best," Patel told IANS.
It was expected to be a close contest between Kalyan and the poster boy of Indian football Bhaichung for the post of president, Haris and Manvendra for the post of vice-president and Kipa Ajay and Kosaraju for the post of treasurer, but the one-sided results came as a huge surprise.
The Sikkimese Sniper got only one vote, though the chief of Rajasthan Football Association (RFA), Manvendra Singh has claimed that the arrival of Kiren Rijiju in the hotel where the state association members were staying on the night before the elections had a role to play in the result.
The former goalkeeper, however, said that he wants to include eminent ex-footballers in his extended team in his bid of holistic development of Indian football.
"I want to involve all eminent footballers to work on the different challenges Indian football is facing today, and to realise the dreams of the respective states. After 100 days, we plan to unveil the roadmap for Indian Football and take the next step," he said after being elected.
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