Tuesday , August 16 2022

Supreme Court directs AIFF Executive Committee elections, State FAs & former India internationals to vote!

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday, August 3 directed that an interim All India Football Federation (AIFF) executive committee would be elected by a special body of 36 state football associations besides 36 former India international footballers — 24 male and 12 female, who played one international game for the country.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and J.B. Pardiwala directed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to conduct AIFF elections expeditiously as per the timeline laid down by the CoA and in consonance with the football federation’s new draft constitution.

It clarified that the elected committee would be an interim body, which would continue for a period of three months subject to further orders.

The top court asked the CoA to hold the election expeditiously to ensure that the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, which India is hosting from October 11 to 30, is managed by an elected body. The top court decided to expedite the election as FIFA requires a democratically elected body of AIFF to oversee the tournament.

The bench declined to entertain the state football associations plea that they should only have voting rights, and instead it pointed out that even the National Sports Code says that players should be represented in sports federations.

Considering the CoA’s proposal, the top court said for the purpose of elections, apart from the state football associations, the electoral college would also include representatives of 36 eminent football players – 24 male players and 12 female players. These players should have represented India in at least one match in international football and have retired from international football at least two years prior to the date of the notification of the election.

The bench said the interim body would continue for a period of three months subject to further order of the court so that the constitution can be finalised in the meantime.

The bench expressed discontent at the proposed representation of women in the general body of the national federation — being half that of men.

Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing the CoA, submitted that the representation of women and men would be 50-50 for future purposes, but at present, due to lack of information on women players, the proposed ratio for the present election was 2:1.

The top court noted that for healthy development of football, the involvement of the players, who have actually played the sport, is required.

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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