AIFF Election: Policitians dominate candidate list as Bhutia, Chaubey only former players in the fray

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Following
the
FIFA
ban
and
Praful
Patel’s
exit,
all
eyes
are
on
the
AIFF
elections,
with
former
players
and
politicians
vying
for
the
position.
With
a
week
to
go
for
the
elections,
a
total
of
seven
candidates
will
be
in
the
running,
including
the
legendary
Bhaichung
Bhutia.

Bhutia
filed
his
nominations
for
the
president’s
post,
along
with
another
former
player
Kalyan
Chaubey.
But
looking
at
the
nominations
list,
one
will
not
be
surprised
as
once
again
there
are
more
politicians
in
the
fray
than
players.
Bhutia
and
Chaubey,
who
is
also
a
footballer
turned
politican,
are
the
only
two
contenders
out
of
the
seven
who
have
played
professional
football.

AIFF
Election:
Bhaichung
Bhutia,
Kalyan
Chaubey
contest
for
President’s
post

The
five
other
candidates
in
the
race
for
the
president’s
post
are

Shaji
Prabhakaran
(Football
President
Delhi),
Ajit
Banerjee
(IFA
West
Bengal
president
and
Bengal
chief
mminister
Mamata
Banerjee’s
brother),
NA
Haris
(Congress
MLA
and
part
of
the
Karnataka
State
Football
Association),
Manavendra
Singh
(Congress
leader
from
Rajasthan)
and
Valanka
Alemao
(Churchill
Brothers
CEO).
Notably,
Valanka,
who
also
has
her
foot
in
politics,
having
contested
the
Goa
Assembly
polls
this
year,
is
the
only
woman
candidate
in
the
running.

Though
one
can
peg
the
legendary
Bhutia
as
one
of
the
key
runners
in
the
race,
it
would
be
prudent
to
note,
that
once
again
more
politicians
are
dominating
the
race
for
the
top
post
of
a
sports
association
in
the
country.
Though
Chaubey’s
nomination
will
also
carry
weight.
Having
entered
the
nomination
as
a
normal
candidate,
his
case
will
carry
weight
as
the
world
football
goverring
body

FIFA

is
not
in
favour
of
country’s
apex
body
being
run
by
eminent
players.

Earlier,
in
a
massive
setback
for
the
country,
FIFA
suspended
India
for
“undue
influence
from
third
parties”
and
also
took
away
the
hosting
rights
of
the
Under-17
Women’s
World
Cup,
stating
that
the
mega
event
“cannot
currently
be
held
in
India
as
planned.”

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