The Supreme Court of India on Monday passed an order on Monday that could meet FIFA’s conditions to overturn the ban on All India Football Federation (AIFF) and help the ball roll again in the country.
If FIFA finds the order adequate, The FIFA Women’s World Cup may take place on schedule and Goans will be in for another treat of football- this time from the ladies. The lifting of the ban could happen in a few days.
Apart from disbanding the Committee of Administrators (CoA), the Supreme Court has ordered that only state associations would partake in the elections of AIFF and that AIFF will be run by the current secretary.
The court also ordered that the elections due on August 28 could be deferred by a week to adjust for the change in the Electoral College.
The Supreme Court made it clear that its order was “to facilitate the revocation of the FIFA suspension and ensure that the prestige of hosting and participating is not affected.”
FIFA had imposed a ban on AIFF on August 15 due to “third party interference” thereby revoking the country's rights to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which was partly to be held in Goa.
“The late Albino Vales who was a lawyer and held various AIFF and GFA posts always maintained that Indian law could not prevent anything from being referred to a court of justice by anyone. It was up to the courts to entertain the writs or not,” stated Antonio Bothelho, former Secretary of Goa Football Association and a man known for giving to the game then taking.
“The Indian Supreme Court cannot be expected to be omniscient and to know the intricacies of everything – even football administration. Indian football administrators on the other hand were well aware that a FIFA ban would follow a government or court intervention in India’s football administration,” added Bothelho.
Names have been nominated for various positions in the Executive Committee which may now have to be relooked after the order of the SC. As per the SC order, the Executive Committee shall consist of 23 members and six members to be co-opted amongst eminent football players.
“The court appears to have been misled into believing that if 50 per cent of the AIFF Electoral College consisted of former eminent players, most problems of Indian football would be solved. That FIFA had a lower percentage limit of only co-opted and not elected individual members was ignored,” observed Bothelo.
“No one appears to have brought these issues to the attention of the court in the months leading to the FIFA ban. Or if brought, they were ignored. What was called for was a firm hand by the court in ordering elections immediately after the outgoing Executive Committee’s term was over,” opined Bothelo.
“An ordinary issue was allowed to escalate to these heights by the egos of politicians – they are those who should be banned from holding positions in national sports federations and associations,” concluded Bothelo.