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Sunday, January 29, 2023

SC stays CoA hand in AIFF affairs


The Supreme Court on Monday in a significant development for Indian football passed a direction terminating the involvement of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in the affairs of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The court’s bid came after FIFA banned the AIFF on August 16 with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.

The CoA is a court-constituted body that was given charge after the football body had not gone through elections to choose new administrators following Praful Patel’s removed from the AIFF presidential post on May 18.

The Supreme Court then had removed Patel and his committee from the AIFF administration and appointed a three-member CoA headed by a former top court judge AR Dave and also directed adoption of AIFF constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.

The court’s decision on Monday came amid request by the Modi govt to do the needful and ensuring lifting of FIFA ban so that U-17 Women’s World Cup in October could be carried on without glitch.

A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna passed the following directions modifying its earlier orders.

As of new court direction, the election is extended by one week. The time for completion of election which is ending on August 28 is extended by one week.

The electoral college will comprise the representatives of member associations of States and Union Territories(35+1). The returning officers will be Umesh Sinha and Tapas Bhattacharya.

In another key development, former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia also moved an intervention application in the top court earlier in the day supporting the CoA’s proposal to give 50 per cent representation for eminent players in the electoral college.

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