COA disbanded, football in India back in control of secretary general, elections to be held on August 28
On a day of dramatic developments in the Supreme Court, the Government of India showed urgency, which bordered on bending backwards, to ensure the FIFA under-17 World Cup stays in India.
Exactly six days ago, the world football body FIFA suspended India. It put under a cloud the conduct of the tournament and staging rights for the blue riband event.
On Monday, the Union Government requested the Supreme Court to remove the COA (Committee of Administrators) and hand over the day-to-day affairs of running football in the country to the All India Football Federation secretary Sunando Dhar.
The Supreme Court passed the order in a short span of time after hearing the Attorney General of India. The new order, duly modified, was passed by a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna.
While the nation waits with bated breath to see what will be the reaction of FIFA, there is hope that normalcy can be restored and the suspension on India is lifted.
AIFF elections get extended; process modified
Originally, the elections to the AIFF were to be held in New Delhi on Monday. Now, the election process has been extended by one week. It means the elections will now be held next week, leading to huge speculation on the new president’s choices and the executive committee to be formed.
The electoral college will be drawn from representatives of member associations of the state associations. The draft constitution of the AIFF is already there. The newly elected body will comprise 23 persons in all. It includes the president, vice president, treasurer and representatives from the 36 member associations and union territories.
In addition, six eminent former players will also be part of the committee. Of these, two will be men and two women. There is ambiguity over who will pick these former players. It is well known, that players like Baichung Bhutia wanted to become the president.
However, with control of AIFF back in the hands of Sunando and the other officials, what all will transpire in the coming days will be of great interest.
It is important to note, that the formation of the COA for football was a directive given by the Supreme Court. That it has been reversed is very surprising. After all, at stake is national pride as the FIFA suspension was hard.
There is talk of following international statutes of the FIFA and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) to be followed for the election process. To be sure, the whole election process will be monitored closely by the top legal luminaries.