While the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will now have to go through the election process to welcome the new President of the Indian football governing body, the legendary Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia and Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray are reportedly becoming the Presidential candidates.
Due to the failure to conduct elections timely, the Supreme Court has recently appointed the Committee of Administrators (CoA), a three-member committee led by SC Judge AR Dave, to take care of AIFF’s affairs. Apart from helping to stage elections, CoA will also ensure the adoption of a new AIFF constitution.
The election date for the Presidential post will be announced soon. Now, the big question is who will be the next President of the AIFF.
According to the recent update of All India Football, Bhaichung Bhutia and Aaditya Thackeray are the AIFF Presidential candidates.
Bhaichung Bhutia is very famous in Indian football as he served the Indian national football team between 1995 and 2011. In his 80 appearances for the national team, the striker scored 26 goals.
In his club career, Bhutia not only served for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan multiple times, but he also became the second Indian footballer (after Mohammed Salim) to play professionally in Europe when he signed for Bury (in Greater Manchester, England). He also had unsuccessful trials in the famous English clubs Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa. Bhutia also played for the Malaysian clubs Perak FA and Selangor MK Land.
While Bhutia became the 19th footballer to receive the Arjuna Award in 1999, he was also honoured with the Padma Shri in 2008 (fifth footballer to win the fourth-highest civilian award of the Republic of India).
Since his playing career, Bhaichung Bhutia is actively working for the growth of Indian football. Surely, he can play a huge role as an AIFF President.
On the other hand, young Aaditya Thackeray is famous as a politician. Talking about his leadership experience in sports, he is the President of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) for many years. So, he is also very active in Indian football.
Current situation in AIFF and Indian football
While the AIFF is currently working to restructure Indian domestic football, it is a very crucial period for the country in this sport. The long-term AIFF President Praful Patel just resigned from his post after the Supreme Court stripped his post.
The CoA now has to ensure that the current process moves properly that can help AIFF to welcome the new President soon. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in the near future as the Asian team has a goal to rise in the world of football and begin to see a real successful dream very soon.