Centre rushes to Supreme Court after FIFA suspends AIFF, hearing tomorrow | Football News – SportsMediaz


NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against the decision of the world football governing body FIFA Council suspending the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and jeopardising India’s hosting rights of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup scheduled in October.

A bench of justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and AS Bopanna agreed to take up the matter on Wednesday as the first item on the board.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre told the bench, “Yesterday morning, there has been some fresh development in the matter. The Geneva-based FIFA Council has taken a decision. I will circulate that letter. It is not addressed to us but has been put out in the public domain. Our only request is that the matter may not be deleted from the list tomorrow (August 17).”

Also Read: Ban questions CoA’s interpretation of FIFA statutes

The bench assured Mehta, “It is there on the list as the first item.” The Bureau of the FIFA Council uploaded its decision early Tuesday morning stating that the decision against AIFF was on account of “undue influence from third parties” which is a serious violation of the FIFA Statute.

FIFA was reportedly concerned by a committee of administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the functioning of AIFF in March this year till a democratically elected executive committee is put in place. The CoA headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Anil Dave, and comprising former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi and a former captain of Indian football team Bhaskar Ganguly was directed by the court on August 3 to elect the AIFF Executive Committee by August 29 and finalize the constitution for AIFF in consonance with the National Sports Code.

Following this order, the Centre moved an application to modify the order after it received a letter from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on August 5 expressing doubts over the SC order not being as per the FIFA Statutes and the agreed roadmap between FIFA and AIFF. However, the FIFA Council reserved its right to take a final call. The Centre requested the Court to allow AIFF elections based on the earlier membership instead of the new arrangement of introducing players in the administrative setup of AIFF.

The CoA has also moved a contempt petition directly attacking former AIFF president and NCP leader Praful Patel for misusing his position as a FIFA Council member to undermine the court orders. The CoA’s petition along with the Centre’s application was heard by the Court on August 11 when the Centre informed that a meeting is being held with FIFA in which CoA will also be present.

The court asked the Centre to play a constructive role and ensure that India’s hosting rights for World Cup are salvaged. But the latest decision by FIFA came as a huge setback to India and AIFF. In a statement issued on Tuesday, FIFA said: “The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to take place in India on October 11-30, 2022 cannot currently be held in India as planned.” At the same time, the global football body said, “FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved.”

Leave a Comment