'Next few days are crucial': New AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey

IANSUpdated: Friday, September 02, 2022, 08:30 PM IST
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The newly-elected president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kalyan Chaubey said that he will engage with all stakeholders to take Indian football forward together.

Chaubey was speaking to media persons in Delhi after being elected the new president of the country's football body on Friday.

Short-term plans

"At the outset, we will work on a short-term plan, and will then meet in Kolkata later this month. We have fought in the Supreme Court together for the last 19 months, and it has taken up a lot of time, effort, and resources from everyone to reach this stage," Chaubey said.

While Chaubey was elected the president, N.A. Haris and Kipa Ajay were elected as the vice president and treasurer, respectively, along with 20 Executive Committee members (14 from State Associations and 6 co-opted former eminent players).

"I want to involve all eminent footballers to work on the different challenges Indian football is facing today, and to realise the dreams of the respective states. After 100 days, we plan to unveil the roadmap for Indian Football and take the next step," he said.

Chaubey also revealed that he had received a call from the FIFA president Gianni Infantino. "I received a call from the FIFA President. He wanted to meet me in Zurich or Doha later this year. I briefed him on the importance of the next few days. We have the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022 next month and told him that we need to discuss amongst ourselves how we plan to take things forward. We will then present our plans to him in detail," Chaubey said.

Call from FIFA President

"The FIFA President also told me that he was impressed with our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interest in Indian Football, and the support he has been extending to the sport."

"We plan to reach out to various schools to extend our outreach at the grassroots level. Hence, we will also have detailed discussions with Anurag Thakur (Minister of State for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Minister for Information and Broadcasting), Dharmendra Pradhan, the HRD Ministry."

Chaubey spoke about his rival in the election, former India footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, saying his views are also welcome in the efforts to take Indian Football ahead.

"Bhaichung's contribution to Indian Football can never be forgotten. I will definitely welcome his views, and consider everyone's views," he said.

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