Monday, September 26, 2022

Centre moves to Supreme Court for modification of order on elections to AIFF

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Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its August 3 order passed concerning elections for the executive committee of All India Football Federation. The top court said that it had passed a consent order on August 3 and the way forward is that the Committee of Administrator (CoA) and Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to engage with the International Football Federation (FIFA) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) concerning hosting of the international tournament.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and AS Bopanna said that it is listing for Thursday the modification applications filed by the State Football Associations, the Centre, and a contempt petition filed by the CoA against ousted AIFF president Praful Patel for allegedly “interfering with the proceedings” of the top court.

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Guruswamy said that they have also filed an application and want it to be listed along with other applications filed by other parties. She said, “Centre would also like the tournament to be held in this country. Our country’s future in football depends on this tournament”. The bench told her that it would see to it on Thursday after it takes up all the applications for hearing.

The application filed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said, “it is respectfully submitted that the membership structure in the order dated August 3, 2022, appears to be not meeting the approval of FIFA/AFC, which aspect, if not resolved with the modification in the centre aforesaid order dated August 3, may defeat the very purpose for which such exercise was so kindly initiated by this court”. It added, “that from a collective reading of correspondences, it emerges that FIFA/AFC have strong reservations in the membership structure of AIFF”.

It said, “That in the light of forestated development, it appears that notwithstanding the best efforts of the CoA, this court and the cooperation extended by other stakeholders, the inclusion of new members (36 sports persons) into the membership structure of AIFF, the desired purpose may not have been achieved requiring a fresh look into this aspect by this court so as to facilitate the prime objective of retaining the hosting rights of the women’s U-17 World Cup”.

Centre moves Supreme Court for modification of order on elections to AIFF

The bench told Jain that FIFA is an international organisation and it is not under its jurisdiction and the best way forward is that the Centre and COA engage with FIFA and ensure that the tournament is held. Meanwhile, 35 football associations have moved the top court seeking appropriate directions to ensure that elections to the AIFF executive are conducted in accordance with the requirements of and assurances given to FIFA/AFC to ensure continued recognition of the AIFF. 

On August 9, the Centre moved the top court seeking modification of its August 3 order passed concerning elections to AIFF and inclusion of ex-players in the electoral college saying FIFA and AFC have “strong reservations in the member structure of AIFF”. On August 3, the top court directed for holding of elections expeditiously to the executive committee of the AIFF as per the schedule proposed by the COA.

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It said that 36 representatives of eminent football players would consist of 24 members of male football players and 12 female players, who have played at least one international football match representing India and have retired from international tournaments two years prior to the date of notification of the elections.

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