Millennium Post

Former sports minister Sonowal may throw his hat in ring

New Delhi: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal may throw his hat in the ring in the elections for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) slated later this month as a presidential candidate, according to sources.

The 59-year-old Sonowal, currently holding the portfolio of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in the Union Council of Ministers and a former Union sports minister, has approached the Assam Football Association regarding a possible nomination for the AIFF polls.

But, nothing is official as of now as he is weighing the pros and cons.

He is also yet to get the go ahead from his party, the BJP, according to sources.

"He (Sonowal) has made an approach to the Assam FA president regarding the AIFF elections, about the polls for president's post," a source in the Assam Football Association said.

"If he (Sonowal) is willing to stand for the post of president of the AIFF, we will surely support him. But, it is not yet official. He has not told us finally that he wants to stand for the AIFF president's post," he added.

Under the draft constitution of the AIFF, anybody who is an Indian citizen and a member of the electoral college can fight for president's post in the AIFF elections.

Sonowal, a Rajya Sabha member of BJP, served as Union Sports Minister for two years from May 2014 before becoming Assam Chief Minister from 2016 to 2021.

He was earlier president of Assam Olympic Association also.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the sport in the country has already appointed the returning officer for the elections to the Executive Committee of the AIFF on August 28 after the Supreme Court gave the go ahead on August 3.

The top court has approved the time-line of the AIFF elections prepared by

the CoA.

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