AIFF Suspension: On August 15, the International Football Federation, FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF). was. FIFA has taken this decision due to the intervention of third parties. Giving the reason for this, FIFA said that this decision was taken due to the violation of the rules by the India Football Federation. Actually, this whole matter is related to AIFF and its president and NCP leader Praful Patel. It is alleged that irregularities have been committed by violating the rules.
At the same time, taking immediate cognizance of this matter, the Supreme Court has dissolved the AIFF and formed the Committee of Administration (CoA). Retired judge Anil Dave, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi and former India football captain Bhaskar Ganguly have been included in this. The Supreme Court has given the responsibility to the Committee of Administration to amend the constitution of AIFF and conduct elections.
India may lose hosting rights!
Actually, the AIFF was occupied by the Executive Committee headed by Praful Patel for the last 12 years. There were no elections for a long time. On May 18, the Supreme Court appointed a 3-member committee (CoA) to take over the administration of the federation, removing the committee formed by Praful Patel. Praful Patel stayed in this post for more than his tenure. On the other hand, if the suspension from AIFF is not lifted on time, India will lose the rights to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in October.
FIFA looks at many parameters
International sports federations like FIFA see that any governmental body that is not elected according to the rules, but still occupies the authority of the national federation. But he is taking his decisions with the intervention of a third party. Whereas at present the Committee of Administration (CoA) is taking over the charge of AIFF. FIFA considers it a provisional one as a law of the international body. There is a need to play your competent role in such cases. At the same time, ever since the COA presented the draft constitution to FIFA on July 13, FIFA has suggested many changes to India.
FIFA asked players to include
FIFA said, the decision of the COA to give equal representation (50%) (36 votes each) in the electoral college to major players and state associations was to be reversed. At the same time, the Sports Code mandates a minimum of 25% representation for players among ‘decision-makers’. “While we agree that players’ voices need to be heard, we also believe that the importance of existing members of the AIFF should not be underestimated,” FIFA said in a letter dated 25 July. “
Suggestions to AIFF
FIFA has further suggested to the AIFF, “However, we understand that the voice of the players should be heard. The requirements of the Sports Code of India and the AIFF are to include more than 25% of renowned players as nominated members in the Executive Committee.” should do.”
However, FIFA did not accept the fact that prior to the hearing in the Supreme Court on 3 August, the CoA did not modify the equal representation in the committee. FIFA also raised the issue of the move to elect an interim body for holding the World Cup for three months, while the constitution has been finalized in parallel. “We understood that the COA would still play a role under the said interim order,” said FIFA’s letter informing the AIFF of the suspension.
How did the COA react?
A day after the suspension of the AIFF, the CoA issued a statement saying, “Talks were going on between FIFA, the CoA and the Union Sports Ministry of India. Your decision is surprising and disappointing.” The COA said that as per FIFA rules, we are prepared to hold elections with an electoral college consisting of 36 state representatives and to represent players as nominated members on the executive committee.
In a second letter, the CoA assured FIFA that the Interim Executive Committee would function independently and would not be under pressure from the erstwhile India Football Federation. However, after the announcement of the suspension of FIFA, there were a total of 69 members, including 36 players. It is understood that changes to the draft constitution in line with FIFA’s recommendations would require the approval of the Supreme Court.
What is the role of Sports Ministry?
After being in the background of this whole matter, the central government told the Supreme Court in a hearing on 17 August that it was in talks with FIFA. The government told the court, “The government has taken up this issue. We had two meetings with FIFA. The matter has progressed a bit, we have asked the federation for a little more time.” The next hearing is to be held on Monday.
What will be the consequences of suspension?
The biggest threat from the suspension of FIFA is regarding the organization of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in India. On the other hand, not allowing Gokulam Kerala FC to play in the ongoing AFC Women’s Club Championship in Uzbekistan is the first major setback. At the same time, there are also doubts about ATK Mohun Bagan’s participation in the AFC Cup which is to be held on 7 September, hence India’s scheduled international friendly matches against Vietnam and Singapore next month are also proposed. At the same time, the suspension will stop receiving development funds from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. Whereas Indian clubs will not be able to sign foreign players for matches. Also, Indian football officials will not be eligible for international assignments.
Will court intervention set a precedent?
Let us tell you that in 2022 alone, the Table Tennis, Hockey and Judo Association has been placed under the CoA appointed by the Supreme Court due to ignoring the rules of the game. A day after the suspension of AIFF, the Delhi High Court also brought the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) under the CoA, citing the Supreme Court order in the AIFF case. But the Supreme Court ordered a status quo after the central government said the International Olympic Committee could view the development as “third party interference”. The next hearing of the case is to be held on Monday.
Allegations against NCP leader Praful Patel
During the hearing in the Supreme Court, advocate Rahul Mehra, the petitioner of the case, alleged that this uncomfortable situation for India has been created by the removed NCP leader Praful Patel from the post of AIFF President. He used his influence in FIFA to get the membership of the AIFF suspended. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the applicants, said that when the Supreme Court had ordered reforms in the Cricket Board (BCCI), the International Cricket Council (ICC) tried to obstruct it in a similar fashion. Something similar is being done here as well.
Praful Patel committed irregularities?
The command of AIFF has been with NCP leader, MP and former Union Minister Praful Patel for 12 years. Praful Patel’s tenure is over in 2020. But despite this, no appointment was made for the post of President and no election was held. The term of the chairman is for four years. Patel has also been a former member of FIFA.
There should be no political interference
AIFF is the governing body of sports in India. Its suspension threatens the Under-17 Women’s Football World Cup in India in October 2022. FIFA has clearly said that there is a third party (CoA) interference in the AIFF, in view of this the decision of suspension has been taken. Let us tell you that India is not the first country which has been suspended. Earlier, Kuwait, Nigeria, Benin and Iraq have also been suspended for violating the rules. At the same time, according to the rules of FIFA, it is necessary to have an autonomous body in the federation governing body. This means that there should be no political interference in the AIFF or the sports body of any country. Also, there should be no legal interference.