The Supreme Court on Wednesday reconstituted the committee of administrators (CoA), which will be headed by former apex court Judge A.R. Dave to manage the affairs of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The CoA will also facilitate the adoption of the AIFF constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant and P.S. Narasimha said the CoA will comprise Justice Dave, Dr S.Y. Qureshi, former Chief Election Commissioner, and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian Football Team.
The bench said the CoA will assist the court in facilitating the adoption of the constitution by the AIFF in accordance with the National Sports Code and model guidelines. It added that newly constituted CoA would sit in Football House at Dwarka or any other place of convenience.
The top court said the committee will see day-to-day affairs of the AIFF, after noting that the current state of affairs is not in the interest of proper governance of the federation. Advocate Samar Bansal represented the CoA, which earlier comprised Qureshi and Ganguly, before the top court. The top court directed the CoA to forthwith take charge of the AIFF.
The bench said the CoA will prepare electoral rolls to conduct the elections to the executive committee of AIFF, in accordance with the constitution which was submitted by the two-member committee (ombudsman) comprising Qureshi and Ganguly.
The bench made it clear that the CoA could seek the assistance of the erstwhile committee of the federation for holding of tournaments and selection of players and other affairs of the federation.
The top court emphasized that this is a pro-tem arrangement to facilitate elections and also handing day-to-day governance of the federation to the democratically elected body, as per the constitution.
Given these developments, rumours are afloat of an impending ban from FIFA and a possibility of India being stripped of Under-17 Women’s World Cup hosting rights.
Former AIFF secretary general Alberto Colaco, who has incidentally served both under the two previous presidents, the late Priya Ranjan Das Munshi as well as Praful Patel feels a ban is incoming.
“If we go by earlier precedents, I think there will be a ban for India,” Colaco was quoted as saying by TOI.
“If things have come to such a sorry state for the AIFF, it is only because Praful Patel has acted arbitrarily and selfishly for his own benefit,” he added.
“Remember, here it is the AIFF who went to Court to prolong Patel’s tenure,” Colaco pointed out.
Dr SY Quarishi, part of the CoA, is confident that India would not get any ban.
“I don’t think FIFA would have an objection to this development today. After all, holding elections is also a mandate in FIFA,” Quarishi was quoted as saying by TOI.
“Football elections were long overdue, the erstwhile team had stayed on past its tenure and elections were necessary. I don’t see a non-compliance issue with FIFA here. We hope that FIFA will understand and cooperate and we will cooperate with them as we try to finish this task given to us by the court,” he added.
(With inputs from Agencies)