Former India footballer Kalyan Chaubey was elected president of the All India Football Federation on Friday at the sports body’s headquarters in New Delhi.

By taking up the post, the 45-year-old became the first former player to be elected as AIFF chief in the body’s 85-year history.

A goalkeeper in his playing days, Chaubey beat former India teammate and captain Baichung Bhutia to the post of the president winning 33-1.

“At the outset, we will work on a short-term plan, and will then meet in Kolkata later this month,” Chaubey was quoted as saying by AIFF. “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.”

He added: “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.”

Playing career

Chaubey is a product of the legendary Tata Football Academy, from where he graduated in 1995 and went on to play for Mohun Bagan. He also competed for East Bengal and Goan giants Salgaocar in his domestic career, finishing as runner-up on five occasions in the I-League and erstwhile National Football League. He also had stints at Mahindra United, JCT Mills and Mumbai FC.

In the early 2000s, he had trials at Karlsruher SC, a club which plays in the second division of the German Bundesliga as well as at VfR Heilbronn, an amateur club.

He was a part of the national team that won the 1999 and 2005 SAFF Championships, but did not make any first-team appearances for the senior team.

But Chaubey did win the award for being the Goalkeeper of the Year on two occasions - 1997-98 and 2001-02, as reported by Sportstar.

Post-playing career

Chaubey worked with Mohun Bagan’s academy in the 2010s and worked as a commentator before joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2015.

He was the party’s Lok Sabha candidate for the 2019 elections from the Krishnanagar constituency in West Bengal. However, he lost to the Trinamool Congress’ Mahua Moitra by more than 60,000 votes.

In the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Elections, Chaubey lost to the TMC’s Sadhan Pande from the Maniktala constituency.