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AIFF executive committee to be elected by not only state federations, but former players too: SC

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed that the interim executive committee for All India Football Federation (AIFF) would be elected not only by 36 state football federations, but also by 36 eminent former football players — 24 male and 12 female players who played international matches for the country.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and J.B. Pardiwala directed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to conduct AIFF elections expeditiously as per the timeline laid down by the CoA and in consonance with the football federation’s draft constitution.

It clarified that the elected committee would be an interim body, which would continue for a period of 3 months subject to further orders.

The top court asked the CoA to hold the election expeditiously to ensure that the Under 17 Women’s World Cup, which India is hosting, is managed by an elected body.

The Women’s World Cup Tournament will commence on October 11. The top court decided to expedite the election as FIFA requires a democratically elected body of AIFF to oversee the tournament.

The bench declined to entertain the state football federations’ plea that they should only have voting rights, and instead it pointed out that even the National Sports Code says that players should be represented in sports federations.

Considering the CoA’s proposal, the top court said for the purpose of elections, apart from the state football federations, the electoral college would also include representatives of 36 eminent football players – 24 male players and 12 female players. These players should have represented India in at least one match in international football and have retired from international football at least 2 years prior to the date of the notification of the election.

The bench said the interim body would continue for a period of 3 months subject to further order of the court so that the constitution can be finalised in the meantime.

The bench expressed discontent at the proposed representation of women in the general body of the national federation — being half that of men.

Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing the CoA, submitted that the representation of women and men would be 50-50 for future purposes, but at present, due to lack of information on women players, the proposed ratio for the present election was 2:1.

The top court noted that for healthy development of football, the involvement of the players, who have actually played the sport, is required.

–IANS

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