The final draft constitution of the All India Football Federation, which has been framed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), has been submitted to the Supreme Court for its approval.
It was submitted to the apex court on Friday, the AIFF said in a statement on Saturday.
AIFF acting general secretary Sunando Dhar said:”After a lengthy set of discussions with various stakeholders, the draft Constitution of the AIFF has finally been submitted to the honourable court.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the process, on this swift move forward, and hope that with the new constitution in place, we can move ahead with developing Indian football.” The CoA, which has been appointed by the apex court on May 18 this year, comprises Justice (retired) Anil R Dave, former Chief Election Commissioner of India Dr SY Quraishi and former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly.
The apex court directed the CoA to assist in facilitating the adoption of the constitution and prepare electoral rolls for the purpose of conducting elections of the AIFF at the earliest.
Since then, in the course of formulating the draft constitution, the CoA has “put in more than 150 hours of work and has spoken to all the AIFF’s stakeholders, including state associations, FIFA, AFC, ISL and I-League clubs and considered suggestions forwarded by them”.
Three days ago, the CoA sent the final draft constitution to world football governing body, FIFA.
The exercise was in consonance with the strict deadlines set by the FIFA-AFC team that visited the country last month to take stock of the situation after the Supreme Court ousted the Praful Patel-led dispensation of the AIFF for not holding elections on time “After a lot of deliberation, we have finally narrowed down on a draft constitution that would put the AIFF in line with the National Sports Code, as well as help it function efficiently as a member association of the FIFA and the AFC,” said Quraishi.
“We are confident that with these set of changes, the federation will now be in a good position to guide Indian football further ahead.” Justice Dave stated: “We have taken into consideration all the stakeholders involved in Indian football and their respective valued point of views over the newly-framed constitution.
“We also received some suggestions from football lovers across the country and studied them minutely and seriously. I wish all parties involved the very best as we all try to take the beautiful game forward in India.” Former India goalkeeper and captain Ganguly commended everyone on formulating the draft constitution on such short notice.
“The amount of work that has gone into the draft constitution is indeed commendable and I sincerely thank everyone involved on it’s completion. We hope that with these new changes, football in our country will keep growing further than ever before.” The final draft constitution was also handed to the state associations which were represented in the discussions by a seven-member committee.
On June 23, the visiting FIFA-AFC team had set deadlines to clean up the Indian football mess, asking the stakeholders to get the constitution of the national federation approved by July 31 and conduct elections by September 15, failing which the country could be banned by the world body.
A FIFA ban would mean the Women’s U-17 World Cup, to be held in three venues from October 11 to 30, could potentially be taken away from the country.
The next date of the Supreme Court hearing on the matter is July 21. Once the Supreme Court gives the green signal, a Special General Body Meeting of the AIFF is expected to be called with seven days to approve the new constitution.
The elections will then be held within 30 days of the approval of the new constitution by the General Body of the AIFF.