Shillong, Aug 21: Eugeneson Lyngdoh has been disqualified from running for a place on the All India Football Federation’s new Executive Committee on a technicality, the election’s Returning Officer informed today.

Nominations of candidates interested in running for President, Treasurer and Executive Committee members were filed on 19th August, with today being the day for the nominations to be scrutinised.

Lyngdoh, the representative of the Meghalaya Football Association, can still vote in the election scheduled for 28th August but will not be able to contest for a position himself.

The Returning Officer noted that Lyngdoh’s nomination had been seconded by Arif Ali of the Uttarakhand State Football Association. However, Ali had also seconded the nomination of Menla Ethenpa of Sikkim. The problem with this is that, according to Article 5.5 of the AIFF’s draft constitution, “no person shall be eligible to nominate more than one candidate for the same post, either as proposer or seconder”. In such an instance, only the nomination that was received first shall be considered to be valid and, in this case, it was Ethenpa’s first and Lyngdoh’s second. Therefore the Meghalaya legend was disqualified.

It is extremely frustrating for everyone hoping to see Lyngdoh, now an MLA and sports administrator (as Shillong Sports Association President), having a role in the AIFF. What makes it worse is that Lyngdoh could’ve been completely innocent – it appears as if the fault is all Ali’s.

Himachal Pradesh’s Deepak Sharma was also disqualified for the same reason. Another Executive Committee hopeful, Md Shahid of Uttar Pradesh, was rejected as both his proposer and seconder informed the RO that they had not backed anyone’s nomination.

There were no disqualifications among the six candidates for Treasurer but there were two among the seven candidates for President who were ruled out – the only woman, Valanka Natasha Alemao of Goa and Manvendra Singh of Rajasthan, both because their seconders claimed that they had not backed anyone’s candidature. Alemao will still be running for Treasurer and Executive Committee member – there were no issues with her nominations for these posts, which didn’t use the same proposers/seconders.

The five candidates for President, six for Treasurer and 11 for Executive Committee member now have until 24th August to withdraw their names from consideration.

Lyngdoh’s has had a rollercoaster ride in the election process, which itself is under a cloud given the FIFA ban of the AIFF. He was only the MFA’s second choice for representative, after its President Larsing Ming Sawyan’s nomination to the electoral college was rejected by the RO. It was then reported nationwide that he would be running for the post of President, only for this to be revealed yesterday to be untrue. And now his nomination to run for the Executive Committee, which he should have won, has been rejected.

The Presidential candidates are former India international Bhaichung Bhutia; former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey; NA Haris of the Karnataka State Football Association; Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran; and Ajit Banerjee of the Indian Football Association (the West Bengal governing body).

The candidates for Treasurer are Valanka Natasha Alemao of Goa; Kipa Ajay of Arunachal Pradesh; Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh; Menla Ethenpa of Sikkim; Deepak Sharma of Himachal Pradesh; and Arif Ali of Uttarakhand.

The 11 candidates for 10 places on the Executive Committee are Ethenpa and Alemao again; Anilkumar P of Kerala; Avijit Paul of Odisha; GP Palguna of Telangana; Vijay Bali of Punjab; Lalnghinglova Hmar of Mizoram; Syed Imtiaz Husain of Bihar; Mohan Lal of Chhattisgarh; Moirangthem Ratankumar Singh of Manipur; and the only ’eminent player’ among the 11, Madhu Kumari.

(File photo)

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