Bhaichung Bhutia files nomination for AIFF president’s post

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The legendary Bhaichung Bhutia on Friday filed his nomination for the president’s post in the upcoming All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections.

Former captain Bhutia was proposed by his onetime national teammate Deepak Mondal and seconded by Madhu Kumari.

Kumari is part of the electoral college as an ’eminent’ player.

“I have filed my nominations as representative of eminent players. In the wake of the SC decision to allow players I hope the players can have a chance to serve Indian football. We want to show we can be good not only as players but also as administrators,” Bhutia told PTI.

Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran has also filed the nomination papers for president’s post.

Also filing the nominations are former player Eugeneson Lyngdoh, through the Meghalaya football association, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother Ajit Banerjee.

Lyngdoh is currently serving as an MLA in the Meghalaya legislative assembly.

The deadline for filing nominations ends on Friday.

The AIFF elections to the executive committee are to be held on August 28.

Hours before the FIFA ban on AIFF earlier this week the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running football in India had agreed to hold the sports body’s elections without giving voting rights to ’eminent’ players as per the world body’s wish.

In a massive setback for the country, FIFA on Tuesday suspended India for “undue influence from third parties” and said the U-17 Women’s World Cup “cannot currently be held in India as planned.

The Supreme Court had said that the electoral college for the executive committee of the AIFF would have representatives from 36 state associations and 36 representatives of eminent football players, 24 male and 12 female.

The players should have played at least one international match representing India and retired from international tournaments two years prior to the date of notification of the elections.

Known as the ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ for his goal-scoring prowess, former captain Bhaichung, 45, is considered one of the country’s greatest footballers. The charismatic striker was the first Indian footballer to have played more than 100 matches for India.

He retired from international football a few months after playing in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar, having made his debut in 1995.

He had played for top Indian clubs like JCT, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during an illustrious career, besides also spending a few seasons at English side FC Bury (1999 to 2002).





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