Will Kalyan Chaubey be unanimous AIFF presidential candidate? | Football News

NEW DELHI: Is this the endgame in the All India Football Federation elections saga, Indian football’s night without end, as we know it?
After rallying forces and standing united – unprecedented perhaps in the history of the Indian game -to ensure the ouster of Praful Patel and despite facing vilification and questions on their intent, AIFF‘s 36 member states, it is reliably learnt, could be announcing their election panel with an aim towards an unanimous verdict in the September 2 elections next week. The question, however, is if they would have liked it this way.
As the AIFF wrote to FIFA on Tuesday, seeking a swift lifting of the ban since all their conditions had duly been met, the member states called for a meeting in the Capital on Wednesday. One state official told TOI that “Sacrifice will the overriding theme at the meeting.”
It is possible that Kalyan Chaubey, BJP leader from Bengal, a former goalkeeper, 1990s Tata Football Academy graduate, could be presented Wednesday as the unanimous presidential candidate. The aim now, as per some members, is to help Chaubey get elected uncontested. Member states have been hinting at the political interest backing Chaubey’s candidature, especially given that the U-17 Women’s World Cup is just a month away, and of the quiet instructions to ensure that he is through.
Chaubey told TOI that he would be meeting with the state members on Wednesday. “Yes, I will be filing the nominations as before,” he said. When he first filed his nomination from Gujarat last week, backed by the Arunachal football body in the previous list of nominations, he had told TOI that he was looking to “move forward with like-minded people”.
His passage and manner of entry has ensured a highly altered scenario for the member states. While there could be a question over the treasurer’s post – the Arunachal chief being a frontrunner -it remains to be seen if Bengal even finds a place in the Executive Committee this time. Incidentally, the Indian Football Association president, Ajit Banerjee is chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother.

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