Supreme Court repeal COA; FIFA likely to unban India in few days
The apex court has also accepted all demands put forward by FIFA.
FIFA is likely to lift the ban on Indian football within 48 to 72 hours from the time it receives the judgement passed by the Supreme Court on Monday (22nd August). In its latest order, the apex court terminated the Committee of Administrators (CoA), a panel it had appointed in May to run the daily affairs of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The Supreme Court also handed the operations of AIFF back to the federation, led by Acting General Secretary Sunando Dhar. The court also accepted all changes demanded by FIFA to lift the ban.
“The ban will be lifted within 48 to 72 hours after FIFA receives the documented order from the AIFF,” sources close to the developments informed Khel Now.
FIFA in its suspension letter to the AIFF had put three conditions to lift the ban. It involved the complete revocation of the CoA, which FIFA saw as third-party interference, and handing the charge of AIFF back to the federation. It also demanded that the elections be held on the pre-existing membership structure, that allowed only the member associations to be part of the electoral college.
The apex court not only accepted those, but also modified changes to the election programme and pushed back the elections, which were scheduled to take place on August 28, by a week. While the SC scrapped the CoA, it has allowed returning officers Umesh Sinha and Tapas Bhattacharya to continue until the elections are over, as requested by the Central Government in its petition on Sunday night. The court also asked senior advocates Gopal Sankaranarayanan and Samar Bansal to assist it in modifying the draft constitution submitted earlier by the CoA.
The Supreme court also ruled that as proposed by the Centre in its application, the AIFF Executive Committee will consist of 23 members, including six eminent players. 17 members of the EC, including the President, Vice President and Treasurer will be elected by the 36 member associations. The other six eminent players will be co-opted by the elected Executive Committee.
The decision by the court came in light of the ban imposed by FIFA on AIFF, which stripped India’s rights to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as well as banned Indian clubs from playing in FIFA/AFC recognised competitions.
Centre file petition to SC
Earlier on Sunday night, the Centre moved an application to the apex court in a desperate move to get the ban revoked. In its petition, the Centre had said that the ‘problem facing the country is acute and it is of utmost importance that India does not lose its right to host the prestigious FIFA Under-17 Women World Cup, 2022 nor the brilliant football players of the country (irrespective of the age group) are deprived of participating in international competitions.
‘An indulgence by this Hon’ble Court is the only way forward and will serve a larger interest of the nation.’
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