AIFF CRISIS | Football

Baichung Bhutia to run for AIFF president

Bhaichung Bhutia.

Bhaichung Bhutia. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Hailing the churning process initiated in the All India Football Federation (AIFF) by the Supreme Court as an opportunity to rectify the system, India’s most celebrated football icon Bhaichung Bhutia submitted his nomination for the national federation president’s post on Friday.

Bhutia’s is the most prominent name among the seven applications filed so far. Others in the fray are Kalyan Chowbey, Manvinder Singh, Shaji Prabhakaran, N.A. Harris, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Valanka Alemao.

With his name doing the rounds ever since the elections for a new executive committee was announced by the Supreme Court-appointed CoA, the former India captain finally accepted demands from his fraternity and submitted his papers.

Lot to contribute

“I think we, as former footballers, would love to offer and also contribute to the development of Indian football. Since the time the Federation was formed, I think there have been very few footballers in the administration,” Bhutia told The Hindu. “I think there's not much of a voice of footballers for the development of Indian football. It's always been non-footballers there (in AIFF). So, this is an opportunity to serve Indian football and make football grow,” he said.

Bhutia was hopeful the system of governance would be rectified following the process of change initiated by the Supreme Court order and subsequent suspension of AIFF by FIFA.

Harsh decision, but...

“I think that FIFA suspending the AIFF was a bit of a harsh decision, but at the same time it has also given an opportunity to set the system right and make sure that all stakeholders work and get the right people for the betterment of football and to take it further,” he said.

Bhutia said he was looking forward to the next hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday, when the future course of action regarding the election process would be decided.


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Printable version | Aug 20, 2022 7:20:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/bhutia-to-run-for-aiff-president/article65787681.ece