The election for the All India Football Federation is finally set to take place on September 2, 2022.
The election –first scheduled for December 2020 – has been delayed due to multiple factors, such as a delay in drafting the AIFF constitution and the pandemic outbreak, until the Supreme Court of India intervened.
However, the intervention did not go well with FIFA, with the global body banning AIFF on August 16. As the SC transferred the responsibility of daily affairs to the Federation, the election is finally set to happen.
How many candidates are contesting the election?
The executive committee for the Federation has already been elected and six names have been nominated for three remaining posts – President, Vice-President and Treasurer.
Who are the members of the executive committee?
The executive committee, already elected, has the following members:
1. G.P. Palguna (Telengana), 2. Avijit Paul (Odisha), 3. P.Anilkumar (Kerala), 4. Valanka Natasha Alemao (Goa), 5. Maloji Raje Chhatrapati (Maharashtra), 6. Menla Ethenpa (Sikkim), 7. Mohan Lal (Chhattisgarh), 8. Arif Ali (Uttarakhand), 9. K. Neibou Sekhose (Nagaland), 10. Lalnghinglova Hmar (Mizoram), 11.Deepak Sharma (Himachal Pradesh), 12.Vijay Bali (Punjab), 13. Syed lmtiaz Husain (Bihar), 14. Syed Hasnain Ali Naqvi (Madhya Pradesh).
Who are contesting the elections?
President: Bhaichung Bhutia vs Kalyan Chaubey
Bhaichung’s name has been proposed by Gopalakrishna Kosaraju, the President of Andhra Pradesh Football Association and seconded by Dileep Singh Shekhawat, the Secretary of Rajasthan Football Association.
“My appeal to everyone related to the sport is to treat football as a priority and for that they need to bring in the right kind of people who have the ability to change the governance of the sport,” he said.
A former teammate of Bhutia, Chaubey’s name, on the other hand, was proposed by Mulrajsinh Chudasama, the General Secretary of Gujarat Football Association and seconded by Kipa Ajay, the secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA).
Individually, Chaubey has won the Goalkeeper of the Year twice (1997-98 and 2001-02) while Bhutia has bagged the AIFF Player of the year the same number of times (1995, 2008).
The two have – together – led India to two SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championships (1999 and 2005) and both have moved to politics after retiring from football.
Chaubey chose to join Bharatiya Janata Party and went on to lose an election to Mohua Moitra of the All India Trinamool Congress from Krishnanagar (Lok Sabha constituency) in 2019 – the party Bhutia, coincidentally started his political journey with.
In 2018, he decided to split from AITC and established a new party named “Hamro Sikkim Party”.
Vice-president: NA Haris vs Manvendra Singh
Nalapad Ahmed Haris – the President of the Karnataka State Football Association – popularly known as N. A. Haris is an Indian businessman, a politician of the Indian National Congress and a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Under his tenure that the franchise-based Karnataka Football League was started which was modelled on the cricket tournament Karnataka Premier League.
Manvendra Singh was elected President of the Rajasthan Football Association in 2016 and was declared unopposed as the President of the Rajasthan FA for a four-year term.
Son of the former Defence Minister, Late Jaswant Singh, Manavendra Singh is a member of the Indian National Congress. He was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India from 2004-2009 and represented the Barmer-Jaisalmer constituency of Rajasthan.
Harris’s name was proposed by Shaji Prabhakaran, the President of the Delhi Football Association and Kipa Ajay. On the other hand, Manvendra’s name was proposed by Kosaraju and seconded by Dilip Singh Shekhawat.
Treasurer: Kipa Ajay vs Gopalakrishna Kosaraju
The APFA secretary, Kipa Ajay became the first ever candidate from the northeast of India to contest for the coveted post. His name was proposed by Mulrajsinh Chudasama and seconded by Shaji. Kipa is also the general secretary North East Football Development Council (NEDFC).
Gopalakrishna Kosaraju – the President of the Andhra Pradesh Football Association – had reportedly withdrawn from the elections on August 27. But when the Returning Officer finally released the list, his name was present.
His name was proposed by Telangana Football Association (TFA) secretary GP Palguna and seconded by Dilip Singh Shekhawat.
When and where will the AIFF elections happen?
The polls would happen on September 2 at the AIFF Headquarters in New Delhi.
When are the AIFF election results?
The results of the elections of the All India Football Federation could be announced either on September 2 or 3, according to the returning officer’s notice.