The first round of talks between the visiting FIFA-AFC team and the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the affairs of Indian football has “gone off well” and the world body is unlikely to impose a ban on the country, according to well-placed sources.
However, nothing is official as of now and a final picture on what FIFA may do or recommend could come only after the second round of talks that the visiting officials will have with the CoA members on Thursday before they leave the country.
“It was a very good and constructive meeting. The meeting had gone off very well. Both sides were happy with the outcome of today’s meeting,” a top source who is involved in the whole process told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
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“The sense from today’s meeting was that both FIFA and CoA are on the same page on almost all the issues. We can say there is agreement on the core issues. I don’t see FIFA imposing a ban on India as of now.” Meanwhile, the 12-member advisory committee formed on Monday by the CoA and headed by entrepreneur Ranjit Bajaj to assist it in the running of day-to-day affairs of the AIFF was disbanded after the FIFA-AFC team expressed its displeasure.
The source said one of the main takeaways from Tuesday’s meeting was that the elections of the All India Football Federation should be held before the end of September.
India will host the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup in October. If the elections are held by the end of September, the new office bearers can take charge of the women’s age group showpiece tournament. It is learnt that there are still some 7-8 “points of disagreement” for which the two sides will need to sit together again and sort them out after the visiting team meets the state associations on Wednesday to also know their viewpoints.
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It was also understood that the CoA can be flexible on these “points of disagreement” and the committee is willing to “work around them” to find an amicable solution for the good of all stakeholders, according to the source.
The visiting team, led by Asian Football Confederation General Secretary Windsor, met the ousted AIFF chief Praful Patel, who is also a member of the powerful FIFA Council.
The visiting FIFA-AFC team is also expected to call on sports minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday.
The team will also meet the representatives of the Indian Super League and I-League clubs, besides the officials of ISL organisers FSDL on Thursday.