Monday, March 4, 2024

SC agrees to hear plea on issues related to All India Football Federation

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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list for hearing a plea on issues related to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), including objections raised to certain aspects of its draft constitution.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of submissions of senior advocate Rahul Mehra, who had filed a PIL on the issue in the Delhi High Court, that the matter needed a hearing.

“It will not be deleted (from the cause list) on the next date of hearing,” said the bench while declining the submission that the matter be kept high on the board.

“The matter is urgent and has not been heard for quite some time,” Mehra submitted.

On February 9, the top court had said it must bring the curtain down on issues plaguing the AIFF, including those pertaining to approval of its draft constitution.

The bench had asked senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, assisting it as an amicus curiae (friend of the court), to have a meeting with the counsels of all stakeholders and find out key objections to the draft constitution of the AIFF.

The top court had also directed the termination of the mandate of a three-member committee of administrators appointed by it in May last year to manage the affairs of the AIFF.

It had modified its earlier orders to facilitate the revocation of the suspension which was imposed on the AIFF by the international football federation FIFA and the holding of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 in India.

On May 18 last year, the bench had appointed the panel headed by Justice (retired) Anil R Dave and had ousted the NCP leader Praful Patel-led management committee that had exceeded its tenure by over two-and-half years.

The Dave-headed committee had former chief election commissioner S Y Qureshi and former Indian football team captain Bhaskar Ganguly as its members.

However, this came in the way of the holding of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 as no elected AIFF body was at the helm.

On August 16 last year, FIFA had suspended India for “undue influence from third parties” and said the tournament “cannot currently be held in India as planned.”

The country, however, later hosted the FIFA event from October 11-30 last year.

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