Buzz of Fifa ban, members wonder why
Soon after the Supreme Court order on Wednesday, appointing a three-member Committee of Administrators to manage the All India Football Federation (AIFF), speculation began on whether Fifa, football’s world governing body, could ban India temporarily.
The reason: Fifa doesn’t allow outside interference and the member-association has to work as an autonomous body.
The members though are least perturbed and say this speculation is just another “ploy” by the outgoing president Praful Patel and his men to change the narrative.
India will play the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Calcutta from June 8-14 and will host the under-17 women’s World Cup in October.
“It’s nothing if you ask me. The Supreme Court has clearly said during the hearing that elections have to be held expeditiously once the new constitution is finalised after discussions with all the stakeholders. Even if a ban is imposed it will be revoked once the elections are over. After all Fifa is for a democratically elected body,” a state association office-bearer told The Telegraph.
“Patel could have gone on a high if he had allowed the elections to take place after December 2020. He would not have had to face this humiliation of being thrown out of the federation he ruled over for years,” the official added.
Ranjit Bajaj, whose Delhi Football Club had filed a petition against AIFF in the apex court and was represented by Prashant Bhushan, was confident that there would be no action from Fifa.
“A Fifa ban comes when you remove a democratically elected body. Here it’s the opposite. We asked for elections under the new constitution and the court agreed. All this talk of sanctions is just to mislead affiliated units.
“It’s now clear that Quraishi and Bhaskar Ganguly, the two-member committee, submitted the draft constitution to the apex court in 2020. Patel misrepresented all the members,” Bajaj said. “It’s a very big victory for India football.”
Earlier this month, Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran had asked Patel to request Fifa to form a normalisation committee to run AIFF’s day-to-day activities and also questioned AIFF’s legal fees running into almost Rs 3.25 crore.
Patel is a member of the Fifa council.