I am the best man for the job: Bhaichung Bhutia | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: It is one fight Bhaichung Bhutia is engaged in where the variables are beyond his actual control. For now, the Padma Shree awardee’s candidature for the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) presidential post has the explicit support of two, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, among the 35 state association votes.
Almost embarrassed to compare his candidacy against former goalkeeper Kalyan Choubey, Bhutia spelt out his work as an administrator and his involvement with the game — since the day he hung up his boots — with a lot of diffidence. Having played for the country for 16 years out of which 12 as captain, the Arjuna awardee carefully avoided listing his achievements on the field.
His moot point in the ‘election campaign’ has been a question that he asked all the stakeholders.
“Am I not a better candidate to lead AIFF out of the ‘penalty box’ that it currently finds itself in?”
More rhetorical than deserving a direct response, Bhutia, at a press meet on Friday, said: “I am the right man for the post. The federation needs a slew of reforms and I have the know-how and experience to implement those.
“It is commendable that we are hosting U-17 World Cups but I would like to see India earn the right to play in a World Cup. And I know it is possible with the right management and personnel.” Bhutia had been involved in running a football club (United Sikkim), worked as the chairman of AIFF’s technical committee and had been a member of the Mission Olympic Committee since he stopped terrorizing goalkeepers with his sharpness. “I have spent all my post-retirement years trying to give back to the game,” he said.
Sourav Ganguly’s stint as an administrator seems to have had an impact on Bhutia.
“We have seen how Ganguly has handled the administrator’s job with aplomb. I would like to see that space created in the AIFF fraternity. It has been 85 years since a player could make it to the high table of our football family. I wish to buck the trend.”
Rajasthan association chief Manavendra Singh and Andhra Pradesh association chief Gopalkrishna Kosaraju spoke vehemently against the politicization of the AIFF elections.
“Threatening and bulldozing candidates do not work in the long run. We have decided to stand by the better candidate who can deliver.”
The election is scheduled for September 2. Bhutia would like to have a debate with Choubey before the elections to find a way to work together. The former goalkeeper fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket from Krishnanagar (West Bengal).
“Let’s not get politics involved and destroy this beautiful sport,” the face of Indian football said. Like it or not, Bhutia has a fight on hand.

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