FIFA has provided a deadline of 15th September to conclude the elections.

Today the hearing of the much-awaited dispute regarding the AIFF draft constitution took place in the Supreme Court. The hearing started around 11 am in the morning. The highest judicial body has decided to hear the objections of the parties (FSDL, state associations) and finalize All India Football Federation’s final constitution on an “expeditious footing” on 28th July (Thursday). The deadline provided (previously) to submit the final constitution is 31st July. FIFA had also mentioned that the elections should be conducted within 15th September.

Another major decision has been announced by the Supreme Court. It has asserted that they will not be interfering into the commercial side of the AIFF. Thus, the conflict which had arisen a few days ago regarding the Master Rights Agreement (MRA) between the AIFF and the FSDL will not be addressed by the highest authority. On this, the bench stated, We don’t want to get in commercials of sport. Let a democratically elected body handle that. We won’t give a stamp to Mr Salve’s (who is representing FSDL) plans nor are we going to enter it: Supreme Court on AIFF’s commercial deals and leagues issue.”

What happened previously?

The latest draft of the AIFF constitution stated that the league run by the All India Football Federation shall be announced as the top league of the country. The excerpt read, “Seniormost top division league shall mean the league competition owned, operated, recognised and directly managed by the AIFF, that implements the principles of promotion and relegation, and meets all requirements prescribed by the AFC for being eligible to obtain a direct slot in the Asian Champions League.” This referred to the I-League regaining its status of the top-tier competition of the country.

Meanwhile, a roadmap laid down in the AIFF-AFC joint meeting in 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, agreed by all parties had announced the Indian Super League to get the status of the top league. The champions of the same were awarded a spot in the AFC Champions League as well. Another alarming issue was that the functions or roles in managing a competition cannot be delegated to a third party, indirectly referring to the FSDL which owns and runs the ISL.

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