New Delhi: Following the BCCI’s ongoing rift with the Lodha Panel, another sports body now finds itself in a battle with the court. The Delhi High Court on Tuesday called the All India Football Federation (AIFF) president’s Praful Patel’s election in December 2016 for a fourth term, invalid on conditions that it violated the National Sports Code.
The court while pronouncing the order also declared that fresh elections have to be conducted within the next five months. Dr. S. Y. Quraishi has been appointed as the administrator to look into the functioning of the AIFF, while the court also directed to amend the Constitution of the AIFF and make it compliant with the National Sports Code.
Interestingly, a total of 17 members were selected to the executive committee, all unopposed in December 2016, as Praful Patel a former MP won his third straight election as the President of the AIFF.
However, the HC observed that “the election ought to be conducted as per the applicable rules of the institution concerned and also in consonance with the National Sports Code and the elections guidelines contained with respect to conduct and eligibility conditions including age, tenure and restrictions.”
The AIFF had earlier filed an affidavit in the court informing the HC that it contested it’s elections following the ‘election process as prescribed under Sports Code, its Constitution as well FIFA & AFC statutes.’ It also mentioned that the Constitution of the AIFF is in compliance with all the restrictions and guidelines as prescribed in the Sports Code.
But following Tuesday’s verdict in which the court deemed the elections as invalid asking the Sports body to contest again, the matter took a new turn as president Patel now looks to be on the verge to be sacked and may not be allowed to contest again.
“AIFF is fully compliant with all statutory regulations in terms of the Registrar of Societies Act as well as other notifications and orders of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports also confirmed and verified in the past that that AIFF’s election was in strict compliances with its Constitution and National Sports Code,” the Sports body said through a press release in it’s reply to Tuesday’s judgement by the Delhi HC.
The body however is still not fully aware of the reasons behind such a judgement and is awaiting to receive a copy of the order from the judicial body, before deciding on it’s next course of action.