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AIFF Elections 2022: All 20 nomination papers in place after being scrutinised by returning officer

The 2022 AIFF Elections will be taking place on Friday. In the meantime, a returning officer scrutinised all the nomination papers, which happened to be in order.

football AIFF Elections 2022: All 20 nomination papers in place after being scrutinised by returning officer-ayh
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First Published Aug 28, 2022, 5:56 PM IST

On Sunday, the returning officer for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections, which are scheduled for September 2, discovered all 20 nomination papers to be in order following the scrutiny. The 20 nomination papers pertain to a couple of candidates, each for the president, vice president and treasurer posts, and 14 for the executive committee members.

"After scrutinising nomination forms for the posts of president, vice president, treasurer and executive committee members, all 20 nomination forms have been found correct," RO Umesh Sinha told PTI. The elections will be held for the posts of a president, a vice president, a treasurer and 14 executive committee members. Six former players -- four male and a couple of women -- will be co-opted later as executive committee members along with voting rights.

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Candidates can withdraw their nomination documents before 1 PM on Tuesday. The top three posts, of the president, vice president and treasurer, could see direct fights between a couple of candidates, with legendary former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia up against former goalkeeper and frontrunner Kalyan Chaubey for the presidential role.

The returning officer has already issued the electoral college of 34 representatives from the state associations. Rajasthan Football Association (RFA) president Manvendra Singh, a Congress politician, entered the fray on Saturday and would contest against NA Haris for the only vice-president's role. Haris is the president of the Karnataka Football Association (KFA) and the state's sitting Congress MLA.

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Also, Manvendra's state association had endorsed Bhutia's candidature. Andhra Pradesh state association president Gopalakrishna Kosaraju, who had suggested Bhutia as the presidential nominee, wrote a letter to withdraw his candidature for the treasurer's post against Arunachal Pradesh's Kipa Ajay on Friday.

However, sources said he had not filled up a form to withdraw; hence, his candidature remains. It's unknown whether he will pull out before the deadline on Tuesday. He filed his nomination papers on Thursday, the same day Bhutia and Chaubey put up their candidature. All 14 candidates, who had filed nomination papers for the exact number of executive committee members, are expected to get elected unopposed. GP Palguna, Avijit Paul, P Anilkumar, Valanka Natasha Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Menla Ethenpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali, K Neibou Sekhose, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali and Syed Imtiaz Husain happen to be the ones.

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Shaji Prabhakaran (Football Delhi president) had filed the nomination papers for the president's post when the elections were supposed to be held under the backing of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on August 28. Yet, he has decided not to stand for elections this time. According to sources, Prabhakaran could be the next AIFF general secretary if the Chaubey-led group wins the ballots.

On August 22, the SC terminated the CoA mandate, disallowing the 36 former players' inclusion in the electoral college. The elections were postponed by a week to salvage the Women's U-17 World Cup, whose hosting was jeopardised after the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) handed a suspension to the AIFF. Nevertheless, FIFA lifted the ban on Friday, clearing the decks for India to host the competition in October.

(With inputs from PTI)

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