Taking a cue from a recent hearing in the Supreme Court wherein a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana was told that an “illegal committee” is continuing to head the All India Football Federation (AIFF), former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly has written to the top court to approve the ‘New Constitution’ that was submitted by him and former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and allow the AIFF to hold the long-pending elections.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan had told the top court that an illegal committee is continuing to head the AIFF due to the non-hearing of a petition of the football body against the 2017 decision of the Delhi High Court, setting aside its last election.
In the letter, former India goalkeeper Ganguly wrote: “Your office had nominated me as Administrator (Ombudsmen) along with S.Y. Quraishi. As per your order dated November 19, 2017, the new constitution draft was to be submitted in closed envelope to the court for further proceedings. The same was submitted by us in January 2020, but till date there has not been much movement in this case, as a result the AIFF is unable to take any decision to hold elections.”
Ganguly went on to add: “As a sports person, my prayer to the top court is to prioritise this case and approve the new constitution and advise the AIFF to immediately conduct the elections as per the ‘new constitution’, so that the development of football in India can continue.”
“We are unable to hire any advocate, because individually, we are working on this project without any financial support from anywhere. Hence, my submission to you is to expedite the case,” he concluded.
Recently, Bhushan had informed the top court that “in 2017, the last elections of the AIFF was set aside by the Delhi High Court. When an SLP was filed in this court, the court appointed a committee headed by S.Y. Quraishi to prepare a constitution for the AIFF in accordance with the National Sports Code”.
Football Delhi, earlier called Delhi Soccer Association, in a letter to the AIFF, has also expressed concern about not holding elections.
In the letter, Football Delhi informed the parent body that it has adopted the following resolution in its executive committee meeting held on May 12: “Delhi being the founder member of AIFF makes a sincere appeal to the executive committee of AIFF to urgently contact the FIFA administration to visit India for initiating the process to place a normalisation committee in India as the executive committee of Football Delhi considers it is an appropriate step in the best interest of Indian football and AIFF.
“Football Delhi also makes a request to the member state associations to support AIFF in fast-tracking the process of placing a FIFA constituted normalisation committee to run the affairs of AIFF till the elections of the new executive committee are held.”