With an instruction from higher authorities to “go deep into the details”, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Wednesday constituted a team to conduct an audit of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the last four financial years for alleged financial irregularities.
The AIFF, though, insisted that it has not received any “special letter” from CAG in recent times and said submission of its audited financial statements is a “normal thing” which is done from time to time.
“CAG has constituted a team today to audit AIFF’s record of last four financial years and there is an instruction from the higher authorities to the special team to go deep into the details and carry out a thorough investigation,” a Indian football source aware of the development said.
Reacting to a report that the Sports Ministry has approved an audit of the apex football body after the special cell of the CAG allegedly found financial irregularities in the AIFF, a federation official said it has been submitting a copy of its audited financial statements to the CAG.
“First thing is, the federation has not received any special letter from CAG recently on audit of the AIFF financial statements for the last four financial years — 2017-18 to 2020-21. This is a normal thing and not a one-off issue,” the federation official said.
The AIFF has been facing the heat of late, largely because of the delay in conducting its elections, pending since more than a year despite several members of the body expressing their opposition to it.
On the issue of the sports ministry approving an audit of the football body by CAG, the AIFF on Tuesday also sought to clear the air.
“Contrary to certain media reports, the AIFF would like to clarify that it has been submitting a copy of its audited financial statements to the CAG. In fact, audited accounts from 2017-18 to 2020-21 have all been submitted to them,” the AIFF said in a statement.
“The AIFF did receive a letter on June 18, 2021, from CAG asking for audited finances along with a copy of documents of financial grants from MYAS and other sources for the period from 2017-18 to 2020-21.
“It was on August 30, 2021, that all relevant documents for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 were submitted, and subsequently, all audited financials for the period of 2020-21 were submitted on February 10, 2022,” it added.
Last month, the sports ministry informed the Supreme Court that Praful Patel has no mandate to continue as the federation’s president as he has already served three terms and the national body should hold elections without further delay.
In an affidavit to the apex court on April 8 in relation to a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the AIFF, the sports ministry said Patel’s tenure was in violation of the Sports Code.
Patel completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF president in December, 2020, the maximum permitted to a national sports federation (NSF) chief under the Sports Code.
The AIFF, however, did not hold the elections, citing a pending petition in the Supreme Court regarding its constitution.