Some good news for Indian football fans

A week after FIFA suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect for “flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes,” India’s leading football body has made several proposals to the Supreme Court to have the suspension lifted.

These proposals are based on discussions between the Centre and FIFA.

In a hearing today, AIFF proposed that its administration and management be carried out by a duly elected body rather than a third party (i.e. the Committee of Administrators, or CoA), and that the CoA’s tenure be terminated.

“Suspension of AIFF is disastrous for the entire nation and all football players,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the Supreme Court.

FIFA had cited “undue influence from third parties” in its suspension order. It also said the U-17 Women’s World Cup, scheduled to be held in October this year, “cannot currently be held in India as planned”.

The Centre has petitioned the Supreme Court to dismiss the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and direct that the day-to-day management of the All India Football Federation be handled by the AIFF administration led by the acting Secretary General.

It also asked the Supreme Court to start the election process from scratch (from the beginning).

On August 3, the Supreme Court ordered the holding of AIFF elections under the auspices of the CoA on August 28, granting voting rights to 36 prominent players.

However, because FIFA was opposed to individual members forming the electoral college, the AIFF was suspended on August 15.

The Supreme Court had appointed the three-member CoA headed by former top court judge AR Dave to run the affairs of the AIFF in a May 18 order while ousting Praful Patel as president of the national federation.

However, following the suspension, the Supreme Court stated, “we request that the Centre take a proactive role in organising the U17 World Cup and that the lifting of the suspension of AIFF be facilitated.”

The AIFF has proposed that the voters’ list only include representatives of AIFF state/UT member associations and not players.

It also suggested to the Supreme Court that the AIFF general assembly elect an independent electoral committee to conduct elections for a new executive committee.

“The AIFF constitution is to be revised in accordance with the requirements of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. The same should be approved by the AIFF General Assembly without interference from a third party (i.e. CoA),” it said.

The AIFF wants the CoA’s role in AIFF to end on August 23 and elections to be held as soon as possible so that the newly elected body can take over AIFF’s affairs and FIFA can lift the suspension.

The Centre has proposed postponing elections scheduled for August 28 by one week. This is required due to changes in the nomination process, according to the statement.

The Supreme Court heard a crucial hearing today on the sports ministry’s request following FIFA’s suspension.