Former goalkeeper of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal Kalyan Chaubey defeated Bhaichung Bhutia 33-1 to become the first former player to head the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in its 85 years of existence.
“It was nice that two former players contested for the post of president. Both were great players during their times. They did magnificently on the field and I am sure they will do well now too,” stated Derrick Pereira, former India international defender, winning I-League coach and now Technical Director of Youth Development with FC Goa.
Bhaichung who made 104 international appearances for India is bound to be nominated to the Executive Committee as an eminent player. Six senior former players – four males and two females – are to be co-opted to the Executive Committee with voting rights.
“It is good for Indian football that a former player has taken over AIFF. I hope players will now stand to benefit and that they are given the priority they deserve not just in football but in all sports," stated Digambar Haldankar former Salgaocar SC striker.
N A Haris beat Manvendra Singh 29-5 to become vice president. Kipa Ajay won the election to the post of treasurer defeating Gopalkrishna Kosaraju by 32 votes to one.
Valanka Alemao was one amongst the fourteen Executive Committee members to have been declared elected unopposed. The other members are: G P Palguna , Avijit Paul, P Anilkumar, Maloji Chhatrapati , Menia Ethanpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali K Sekhose, Lalnghngkra, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali and Syed Husain.
Derrick Pereira, former India international defender
The AIFF elections were scheduled for December 2020 but were first delayed due to a delay in drafting the Constitution in line with the national sports code and later because of the pandemic until the Supreme Court intervened and appointed a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to conduct the elections.
FIFA then banned AIFF due to “third party interference" on August 15, 2022, and the Supreme Court on August 22, 2022, terminated the mandate of CoA; disallowed the inclusion of 36 former players in the electoral college to salvage the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be hosted by India in October.
FIFA lifted the ban on August 26.
Digambar Haldankar, former Salgaocar SC striker