New Delhi: Hours before the FIFA ban, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running football in India had agreed to hold AIFF’s elections without giving voting rights to ‘eminent’ players as per the world body’s wish.
In a massive setback Tuesday for the country, the FIFA suspended India for ‘undue influence from third parties’ and said the U-17 Women’s World Cup ‘cannot currently be held in India as planned’. If India had hosted the FIFA tournament, it would have been played October 11-30.
Sources privy to the developments said the ban could be short as the Supreme Court-appointed CoA had agreed to ‘almost all’ of FIFA’s demands regarding the elections and the new constitution. Hence, the U-17 Women’s World Cup could still be held in India.
“The feeling in official circles is that the ban could be short and elections can go ahead not August 28 but before September 15 (the FIFA deadline),” a top AIFF source told this agency on condition of anonymity. “The CoA has agreed to it as per FIFA’s wishes. In this scenario, the FIFA U-17 women’s World Cup can also be saved,” the sources added.
It has been learnt that the CoA was not expecting the FIFA ban at this stage as it had agreed to fulfil the world governing body’s requirements. India’s football fraternity is now awaiting the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing Wednesday.
The Union Government had, July 28, given its approval to signing of guarantees for hosting the women’s age group showpiece.
Sources said the CoA, FIFA and the Sports Ministry had agreed to a proposal to go ahead with the AIFF elections with the 36 state association representatives forming the Electoral College.
The list of 36 ‘eminent’ players whose names have already been published by the election’s returning officer includes the likes of Shabbir Ali, Manoranjan Bhattacharya, Prasanta Banerjee, IM Vijayan and Bhaichung Bhutia.
Five eminent players – three male and two female – can, however, become members of the proposed 22-member executive committee with voting rights. There will be maximum one man and one woman from any state.
The draft constitution of the AIFF prepared by the CoA had provided for 36 eminent players and an equal number of state association representatives in the Electoral College and a 12-member executive committee – a president, a treasurer, five eminent players and five others from the states.
The proposal discussed by the three parties also said that if the president is permanently or temporarily prevented from performing his\her official function, the vice-president will assume the functions of acting president.
In the old dispensation under ousted president Praful Patel, the AIFF had five vice- presidents – one from each zone – with one among them being designated as senior vice-president. It was also proposed to appoint a CEO (not office bearer) as a paid employee of the AIFF with the general secretary becoming an elected member (office-bearer) of the executive committee.