The federation also blasted former President Praful Patel in its letter to the two governing bodes.

The Committee of Administrators (COA) have responded to the recent letter sent by FIFA and AFC threatening a ban. The apex world football body had shared concerns over possible third-party involvement in the new AIFF constitution. They had also warned that India could be banned and the U-17 Women’s World Cup hosting rights could be stripped.

In a letter to FIFA’s secretary general Fatima Samoura and her AFC counterpart Datuk Windsor John, the COA members have acknowledged the concerns shared by them. They wrote, “We are in receipt of your above email dated 05.08.2022 and have noted the concerns that you have raised. We were surprised to receive it only this afternoon and were awaiting the printed copy of the Supreme Court Order dated 03.08.2022 in order to apprise you of what has taken place, but we found that copies of your email have already been published in the national newspapers at considerable embarrassment to us.”

New Constitution already made ready

They also responded to FIFA, AFC claiming that their order of the new constitution being formed by 31 July, 2022 hasn’t been done yet. The letter stated, “The constitution was made ready and submitted to the court and the state federations on 15.07.2022. Immediately after your letter of 01.07.2022, the AIFF has also constantly kept FIFA-AFC in the loop by way of our emails dated 01.07.2022, 12.07.2022, 13.07.2022 and 15.07.2022.

“You may note that your comments have come in on the drafts throughout July 2022 as the constitution has been finalised and we presume that the Congress of FIFA and AFC are aware of these developments.”

No interference over new constitution

The letter has also insisted that the new AIFF executive committee that will be created will operate independently. It said, “The members of the AIFF are in fact fully represented in the proceedings in court and have agreed to the court issuing specific directions regarding the holding of elections.

“The members have also approved measures for an early adoption of the Constitution (as has been intimated to you by email dated 23.06.2022) and unanimously assented to them being approved expeditiously, while the elections would be held even anterior to the one suggested by FIFA, AFC.

“Please note that the new executive committee so elected will function independently and will not be supervised by the undersigned. In complete accordance with your wishes, no new member has been added to the AIFF, though a players association in terms of the FIFA statutes is proposed.”

The COA also promised that the new executive committee for AIFF should be created by 1st September itself.

COA blasts Praful Patel’s involvement

The letter also hit back at ex-AIFF president Praful Patel for trying to cause problems with the new constitution. It was mentioned,: “It perhaps would not be appropriate for a person who has profited from presiding over Indian football for over 16 years without any tenure limits or other controls to suggest that the federation be suspended merely because he has been removed from the post he had illegally occupied.

“Infact, the third-party interference would now take place if the members’ desire to have the court’s timelines honoured is not accepted.

“Indian football has a small group of detractors who seek to serve themselves at the cost of the sport and its players who are dear to all of us. We have faced instances in the past when some of these had sought to mislead institutions to undermine the proper functioning of the AIFF. 

“In some instances, criminal investigations have been lodged which are obviously unpalatable to those who are the accused,” it also stated. The COA will hope that this letter finds the FIFA, AFC well and convinces them not to take any drastic actions against Indian Football. A ban for India can set it back many decades, while stripping them of hosting rights for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – starting in October – can be extremely embarrassing.”

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