The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday stripped All-India Football Federation’s President Praful Patel and his team of their administrative duties while appointing a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to oversee the AIFF’s daily operations
Patel has been managing the AIFF president post for over a decade. Though his tenure was supposed to end in 2020 he continued to retain the post due to a pending 2017 SC case.
The three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), established by a bench of Justices; DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and PS Narasimha, will be headed by retired top court judge AR Dave. Other members include former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi and a former captain of the Indian football team, Bhaskar Ganguly.
The apex court ordered the CoA to oversee the AIFF’s daily operations while incorporating the country’s National Sports Code into the AIFF’s constitution. The Supreme Court has also advised the CoA to formulate and impose a new set of electoral rolls to hold an election for the AIFF’s executive committee. The SC is hopeful that such regulations can avoid a repeat of the Patel fiasco in the coming years.
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“The earlier executive committee of AIFF is no longer there after today’s SC order, it is gone. The SC asked us to take charge immediately, so as soon as we get the court order we will assume charge, speak to each other and chalk out our course of action, “ Quraishi told PTI. The newly appointed committee is supposed to get the green signal by the SC on or before July 30. The elections could then be held around the time of September-October.
Praful Patel was first elected to head Indian football’s highest governing body in 2009 after serving as the Acting President following his predecessor Dasmunsi’s illness. He was re-elected in 2012 and in 2016 to continue his role at the top. All of his three terms ended in December 2020, but he refused to step down citing the non-hearing of a petition about the elections. On May 12, the SC was notified by prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan about the illegal continuation of Patel at AIFF.