AIFF Affairs: SC Removes Praful Patel & His Panel, Appoints Committee Of Administrators
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday removed the Praful Patel-led panel that was at the helm of All India Football Federation (AIFF) and appointed a three-member committee of administrators (CoA) to run Indian football on an interim basis.
Retired SC judge Justice Anil Dave, ex-Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi and former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly have been named as the administrators. They have also been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting long-pending AIFF elections expeditiously as per constitution in accordance with the National Sports Code.
“The committee of administrators shall carry out day-to-day governance of the All India Football Federation,” the bench said, adding that the COA will be at liberty to take assistance of the erstwhile committee of the federation in holding of tournaments, selection of players and other affairs.
The committee of administrators will sit at AIFF’s Football House at Dwarka or any other place of convenience.
The apex court on May 12 agreed to hear a petition filed by Delhi Football Club alleging illegal continuation of a committee and Praful as AIFF’s president for 12 years.
The top court was told that an illegal committee is heading the AIFF due to non-hearing of a petition of national federation against Delhi High Court’s 2017 ruling.
“In 2017, the last election of the football federation was set aside by the Delhi High Court. When an SLP was filed in this court, this court appointed a committee headed by former election commissioner and sports secretary Qureshi to prepare a Constitution for AIFF in accordance with the sports code. Even that has been done long ago,” lawyer Prashant Bhushan had said.
The Union Sports Ministry had earlier filed an affidavit in Supreme Court stating that Patel doesn’t have the mandate to continue as AIFF president as he has already served three terms and elections should be held without any further delay.
Patel completed three terms (12 years) as AIFF president in December 2020, which is the maximum permitted to a national sports federation chief under the Sports Code.
The AIFF, however, did not hold elections, citing a pending petition in the Supreme Court regarding its constitution.