Tomy Kunnel elected president of the Kerala Football Association

KOCHI: Call it the ultimate irony, a veteran of the sevens game has emerged at the forefront of Kerala football association ( KFA ) that not long ago a dictation was issued that prohibits registered players from playing the small-sided game that is often accused of being a rebel.

Tom Jose aka Tomy Kunnel 66-year-old president of Arakulam Grama Panchayat in the Idukki district, wearing a pair of boots, a T-shirt and sometimes even a football in the boot of his car, and manages a family-owned club that also competes in sevens, was on Saturday elected the president of the KFA.

In a unilateral contest, in which 40 out of 42 voters, the Kerala The leader of Congress (M) won 29 votes to defeat his opponent A Pradeep Kumar, MLA of the IPC (M), who in April had also lost the general elections of the Kozhikode constituency.

The arrival of Kunnel marks the exit of KMI Mather, who had held the president’s post for over two decades. The veteran, who was upset during and after the election proceedings, tried best to conceal his emotions and wished the newcomer his best wishes. He, however, was nominated as KFA’s honorary president, a post only just introduced.

As in the game, a team is needed to produce results and I believe that together we can strengthen the partnership, Kunnel said, promising to remain open to new ideas. “When young people who have new and better concepts give suggestions, you better listen. This is how I have worked all these years.

The new president is hoping to shuttle between Kochi, where the KFA office is situated, and his hometown Moolamattom, where he owns the club called Vikas Moolamattom, officially registered as Heroes Moolamattom that has produced a host of decent football ers but none more illustrious than former India midfielder NP Pradeep.

“Pradeep is the best we have produced, but we also had state and university players like Mammen and Ganeshan. Even to this day, we train children and if the rain does not play waste sports, we have training 365 days a day, said Kunnel, whose club operates at IHEP School Ground.

S Achu and Mohamed Rafeeq were elected as the two joint secretaries, claiming 37 and 30 votes. KP Sunny, Renji K Jacob and KK Gopalakrishnan retained their positions of vice president and were joined by P Poulose, Mohanan and Abdul Kareem, all of whom had comfortable victories in the elections. Meanwhile, Anil Kumar will continue as general secretary of the association.

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