The NCP politician was the union minister for civil aviation in the UPA government.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel is caught up in hot water after being summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over an aviation deal case. Patel was the Union Minister for Civil Aviation before his reign as the football governing body’s chief and has been tangled up due to the emergence of his links with aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar in 2008-09.
It is being alleged by the ED that Patel was mentioned in the case which was the result of severe losses for national carrier Air India. He was allegedly in regular touch with Talwar when the deal went through, following which multiple foreign carriers gained access to prime high-traffic routes in the Indian market.
The 62-year-old, who has been acting as AIFF’s President since 2012, has been summoned in order to be put through thorough revelations made by Talwar, concerning the case filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He has been under fire from the ED since May, when it was revealed that he was under the scanner for his connection to the case.
However, after being summoned, he’s remained calm about the situation and sworn to comply with them concerning the case. Speaking to PTI afterwards he said. “I will be happy to cooperate with ED for their understanding of the complexities of the aviation industry.”
The 62-year-old made big ground for the future of Indian Football after being named as the first Indian to become a member of the prestigious FIFA Council. Moreover, he’s also looking into ways to create a proper roadmap for the future of Indian football.
The NCP MP has asserted himself as the face of the AIFF and gained respect from senior FIFA figures with his recent addition to the council. Moreover, he’s also a renowned figure in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
However, it could be a big blow to his reputation if his involvement in this case is proven. Patel will report to the ED on June 6th and will hope to calmly cooperate with them to remove any potential accusations against him in this case.