Shillong, Sep 2: Kalyan Chaubey stormed to victory over Bhaichung Bhutia in the presidential election of the All India Football Federation in New Delhi today.
Chaubey won 33 of the 34 votes cast, including, it is believed, Meghalaya’s.
Both candidates are former footballers turned politicians, though Chaubey, as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was declared by those in the know to be the clear favourite.
Chaubey is a former Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Salgaocar goalkeeper. Bhutia, on the other hand, is an Indian football legend having played for the national team for many years.
Karnataka Football Association President NA Haris, a sitting Congress MLA, won the election for the post of Vice-President, beating Manvendra Singh of the Rajasthan FA 29-5. Arunachal Pradesh’s Kipa Ajay beat Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh for the treasurer’s post 32-1, with one vote being invalid.
All the 14 candidates who had filed nominations for as many Executive Committee members’ posts were elected unopposed. The new executive committee comprises GP Palguna, Avijit Paul, P Anilkumar, Valanka Natasha Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Menla Ethenpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali, K Neibou Sekhose, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali and Syed Imtiaz Husain.
Bhutia will be co-opted into the Executive Committee as one of six ’eminent players’. The other three male eminent players are IM Vijayan, Shabbir Ali and Climax Lawrence. The two females are Thongam Tababi Devi and Pinky Bompal Magar.