The former India goalkeeper defeated Bhaichung Bhutia in the election for the post.

Kalyan Chaubey is the new President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The former Indian international won the elections following lopsided support of the stakeholders. Elections to the AIFF Executive Committee took place on 2nd September 2022 at the AIFF Headquarters in New Delhi. Elections took place after the Honorable Supreme Court’s directive post the FIFA ban due to third-party interference.

There were two final candidates vying for the post of President in the AIFF, including former national player and legend Bhaichung Bhutia. After winning, Kalyan Chaubey becomes the first footballer from India to hold the top post in the country’s football governing body. The former goalkeeper defeated Bhaichung Bhutia by a margin of 33-1.

The elections were to take place earlier but were postponed by the SC bench in order to kickstart the nomination process. Kalyan Chaubey finally becomes President of the AIFF and will tackle the multiple issues ailing Indian football head-on.

The controversy before the elections

In the whole controversy where the Supreme Court of India dissolved the AIFF Executive Committee and found former President Praful Patel not in line with the Sports Code, India was banned by FIFA which disallowed its club teams from taking part in continental tournaments and the national teams from playing against other member nations. 

In order to quickly resolve the situation, the SC bench called for fresh elections and gave the responsibility of handling AIFF’s daily affairs to Acting General Secretary Sunando Dhar. Thanks to the dissolution of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and handing back the control of Indian football to AIFF, FIFA took the step to lift the ban on the country.

With India and its clubs free to contest international level tournaments and the ambiguity around AIFF’s leadership no longer an issue, the time is to focus on developing Indian football. Kalyan Chaubey will have the task to bring accountability and transparency to AIFF’s functioning, which is a key requirement according to the features of India’s Sports Code.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Telegram.