The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Wednesday an issue related to All India Football Federation suspending the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before the top court, updating it about the recent developments and asking to hear the issue tomorrow.
A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said it will hear the matter on Wednesday. The decision of FIFA has stripped the country of the right to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup, scheduled for October.
FIFA had suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect citing “undue influence” from third parties. “The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes,” FIFA said in a statement.
Solicitor General mentioning the matter told the bench that some development has taken place in the matter related to AIFF pending before it and requested that the matter be heard tomorrow. “There is some development. The matter may not be deleted. FIFA has sent a letter, it’s in public domain,” Mehta told the Supreme Court.
Justice Chandrachud said the AIFF matter is listed for hearing tomorrow and it will not be deleted. “It would not be deleted. Court master says it is the first item tomorrow,” the bench said. Mehta said he will submit a letter from FIFA which is already in public domain.
FIFA, the apex football body on Tuesday announced that it has decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect and the decision was taken unanimously by the Bureau of the FIFA Council. The decision has been taken due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes. In a press statement, the FIFA said that the suspension will be revoked once the order appointing the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to assume the powers of of the AIFF Executive Committee is repealed.
On May 18, the apex court had ousted Praful Patel as AIFF president for not holding elections due in December 2020 and appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former top court judge AR Dave, to manage the affairs of the AIFF. The CoA also had to frame its constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
On August 5, FIFA had threatened to suspend the AIFF and strip of its right to host the women’s U-17 World Cup, days after the Supreme Court’s direction to hold elections of the AIFF. On August 3, apex court had directed the executive committee of the AIFF to expeditiously hold elections as per the schedule proposed by the CoA, which is currently running the affairs of the national federation.
The elections are to be held on August 28 and the poll process began on August 13, as the top court approved the time-line prepared by the CoA. CoA had filed contempt petition before the apex court alleging that the ousted AIFF President Praful Patel has been trying to undermine the conduct of tournament.
The international football governing body said the suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs. “The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in India as planned,” the statement added.
FIFA also said that it is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary. The governing body said that it is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved.