Former India goalkeeper approaches SC, desires AIFF to carry election quickly

Vinayak Padmadeo
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 17

On a day when All-India Football Federation (AIFF) formally announced its candidature to host AFC Asian Cup 2027, a former India international has moved the Supreme Court against the body for an “illegal attempt” to continue the term of its executive.

Goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey, who has represented India and also has the distinction to appear for both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, has approached the highest court with an appeal not to extend the mandate of the current executive committee and hold fresh elections.

The AIFF had moved the court last month with a plea seeking continuation of the current executive beyond its term claiming that the court-appointed administrators are yet to frame the constitution.

The term of the body led by former Union minister Praful Patel got over on December 2. As per the National Sports Code of India (NSDCI), 2011, Patel is ineligible to hold any office, as he has completed his third term as the president.

“I have not approached the court out of personal grouse. I have many friends in this executive, who I have known for a number of years. I am doing this because I want the election to be held in time and in a democratic manner,” Chaubey told The Tribune.

“Technically speaking the election is null and void because administrators are in place now. Both the sports code and FIFA rules bar him (Praful Patel) from holding posts. As per court’s 2017 order, the elections were to be held after eight weeks and three years have passed since this order. So my plea is very simple that the elections should be held and a new democratically elected body should be put in office,” he added.

In a separate statement, Chaubey outlined his reason for approaching the courts. “We all have to come forward and set good examples in football as the world is watching us very closely and the current happenings in AIFF will negatively impact the game from every side,” he wrote.

Chaubey is not the only one who has opposed AIFF’s bid to extend the term of executive and has written a letter seeking urgent discussion on delay of the elections and fixing a date for the same.

India to bid for 2027 Asian Cup

Meanwhile, the AIFF announced that it will lodge a bid to host AFC Asian Cup 2027 in India. AIFF president Praful Patel and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju formally announced the candidature.

“India is a big country and we should be hosting big events. Our government is fully backing this bid and hopefully that we get to host this tournament,” Rijiju said at the launch.

Patel said that it would be tough to win the bid as Qatar, which is hosting the World Cup in 2022, Saudi Arabia and Iran are also in fray.

“We hosted the U-17 World Cup. We are hosting the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup and the Women’s U-17 World Cup 2022 so this (2027 Asian Cup) would be in continuation. We will do everything in our hands to win the bid to host this tournament,” he said.


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