The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) member units on Wednesday met the visiting FIFA-AFC team and informed them that the Supreme Court intervention in the national sports body was “out of necessity”.
Last month, the SC ousted the Praful Patel-led dispensation in the AIFF and appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to frame a new constitution and hold elections for a new set of office bearers, besides running the day-to-day affairs of the national federation.
Since then, there have been speculations about a possible FIFA ban on India for third party intervention in the affairs of the AIFF. However, the apprehensions, to a large extent, were cleared with the visit of FIFA-AFC delegation.
On the second day of its visit, the team held discussions with a seven-member committee of the state associations.
“It was a very positive and constructive meeting. We explained the visiting team how the Supreme Court came to the scene after the old dispensation (under Patel) did not hold elections even after its term was over,” a top source who attended the meeting told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“There was confusion all around (because of not holding the elections) and that was affecting Indian football. It was not good for the game in the country. So, it was explained to the FIFA-AFC team that the SC intervention was out of necessity. There was no no other way out,” the source added.
It is understood that the FIFA wants the transition period of the national federation to be as short as possible.
“FIFA is likely to set a date before which the elections of the AIFF are to be held so that the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup, to be held in India, are organised by the new set of office bearers.
“The visiting team wants the transition period under the CoA to be as short as possible. That is the sense the state associations got from the FIFA-AFC team.”
The FIFA-AFC team had a first round of talks with the CoA members on Tuesday, which sources said had “gone off well” and the world body is unlikely to impose a ban on the country.
However, nothing is official as of now and a final picture on what the FIFA may do or recommend could come only after the second round of talks, which the visiting officials will have with the CoA members on Thursday.
One of the main takeaways from Tuesday’s meeting was that the elections of the AIFF should be held before the end of September.
It is learnt that there are still some 7-8 “points of disagreement” for which the two sides will need to sit together again and sort them out.
It is also understood that the CoA can be flexible on these “points of disagreement” and the committee is willing to “work around them” to find an amicable solution for the good of all stakeholders.
The seven-member visiting team, led by Asian Football Confederation General Secretary Windsor John, also met the ousted AIFF chief Patel, who is a member of the powerful FIFA Council, on Tuesday.
The visiting team will also meet the representatives of Indian Super League and I-League clubs, besides the officials of ISL organisers FSDL on Thursday.