Former All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel has said that he will talk to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and General Secretary Fatma Samoura over fears of a FIFA ban. Will request them not to take such strict action. Patel also said that he would ask the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) to expedite the election process. He said that by dragging this matter, the ‘slit’ of Indian football could sit.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the day-to-day affairs of the organisation, following a deadlock in finalizing the constitution of the AIFF to hold elections. With this, the term of the post of President of Praful Patel came to an end. The Court appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former Justice AR Dave, to manage the affairs of the AIFF and adopt its constitution in line with the National Sports Code and standard guidelines. Apart from Dave, Dr. S.Y. Qureshi (former Chief Election Commissioner) and Bhaskar Ganguly (former captain of the Indian football team).
Patel said AIFF’s lawyers told the court that this could amount to third party interference. This will violate the rules of FIFA and can lead to suspension of India. Paten said, “All possible scenarios were explained and after that the court had to take a decision. On Friday, a call was received from FIFA, asking for information on the Supreme Court order, as they wanted to study it.
Patel said that according to FIFA rules, a member association can be suspended at the request of its Congress Council. However, the all-powerful FIFA Council may also temporarily suspend an association with immediate effect without a vote in Congress. The impact of FIFA’s suspension could be huge. This could put India out of the Asian Cup qualifiers, which are scheduled to begin in Kolkata on June 8. The country may also lose the rights to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup. Indian clubs to be held in October this year will be barred from competing in continental tournaments. Apart from this, they will not be able to sign foreign players other than the players already in their roster.
Patel said he would use his position as a council member to request his allies to give the country until the end of July to complete the election process. “I don’t want to make any guesses in advance. FIFA is like a government, it runs by the system. You have seen how FIFA takes a tough stand. They have suspended major football nations.