The Central Government on Sunday moved an application in the Supreme Court announcing its acceptance of the demands made by Fifa, reported PTI.
Football’s global governing body had earlier suspended the All India Football Federation on grounds of ‘Third Party Interference,’ mainly since the appointed Committee of Administrators sought to provide 36 former players an individual members’ spot in the electoral college.
That change, along with the repeal of CoA mandate – both demands made by Fifa – have been accepted by the Indian government.
In its petition, the government claimed that the “day-to-day management of AIFF shall be looked after by the AIFF administration led by the acting Secretary General to the exclusion of the earlier elected body and the CoA will have no role in the administration of AIFF from 22.08.2022,” according to the Press Trust of India report.
However, an extra day will be allowed to the CoA in which to submit a final draft constitution to the Apex Court which can then be deliberated over. Post the submission, the CoA will be completely dissolved.
“... to require the CoA to submit the final draft constitution to this Hon’ble Court by the end of 23.08.2022, and that the mandate of the COA be declared to be over in full from 23.08.2022,” the petition added.
Based on these changes, former national captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who is running for the post of AIFF president, will not be allowed to compete for the position since he had been proposed and seconded by former players among the 36 individual members who will be losing their position should the Supreme Court accept the government’s proposal, according to PTI.
The 45-year-old has also moved to court asking for the CoA’s proposed changes – which have irked Fifa – to be kept in place, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
In his plea, Bhutia claimed the draft constitution proposed by the CoA “prioritizes and promotes the welfare and participation of current and former players – who are the key stakeholders in any sport, in the administration of Indian Football – over the vested interests who have been in control of Indian Football for several decades.”
The Supreme Court had already been scheduled to come to a decision regarding the suspension by Fifa and how the Indian government should react to ensure the country is no longer isolated from the footballing world.
Due to the suspension, Gokulam Kerala had been disallowed from competing in the AFC Women’s Club Championship despite making the trip to Uzbekistan. ATK Mohun Bagan may not be allowed to compete in the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal semifinals in September should the suspension still be in place by then.
The Indian government though will be keen to get the suspension lifted in order to host the U-17 Women’s World Cup, which India is scheduled to host in October.