World football governing body FIFA has informed the Sports Ministry that it remains firm in its opposition to individual members’ inclusion in the electoral college for the upcoming All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections. Seeking clarity on FIFA’s demands and the sports ministry’s stand on the Indian football imbroglio, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Monday received a communication from the ministry, sources in the know of things said.
“In the letter, the union sports ministry has mentioned everything about the suggestions given by FIFA during their meeting with the ministry," a source said. FIFA wants individual members of the electoral college to come from the state associations and other entities. The letter from the ministry was received a day after the CoA wrote to them asking for concrete advice based on FIFA’s requirements and the ministry’s stand on the same.
“We have given our stand on AIFF in a written reply to CoA which will be put before the court in the next hearing," a ministry official said without elaborating. Everything will be placed in front of the Supreme Court on August 17 — Wednesday — which is also the last date of filing nomination for the post of AIFF president, left vacant since Praful Patel’s ouster by the top court. FIFA had also earlier said that it was “not a prudent idea" to have an equal number of eminent players alongside the state association representatives. However, the world body is okay with the executive committee having 25 per cent of former players as Co-opted members.
The elections to the executive committee of the AIFF will be held on August 28 and the poll process had started following the notification by the Returning Officer, according to the order of the SC which is hearing the matter. The top court had approved the timeline of the AIFF elections prepared by the CoA which is currently running the affairs of the national federation.
Nomination papers can be filed from August 17 to 19 by the candidates and delivered to the Returning Officer in person or by post. The inclusion of an equal number of eminent players in the electoral college had become a bone of contention since FIFA expressed its opposition to the move. Last Thursday, the SC allowed the ministry to play a positive role in addressing the matter while making it clear that it wants the country to host the U-17 Women’s World Cup in October at any cost.