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India Football: Supreme Court agrees to hear plea against alleged illegal continuation of committee heading AIFF

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday agreed to hear the plea deal of the Delhi Football Club (DFC), over the alleged illegal continuation of a committee and Praful Patel as president of All India Football Federation (AIFF) for over a decade.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan had told a bench committee by Chief Justice NV Ramana that an illegal committee is continuing to head the AIFF due to the non-hearing of a petition of the football body against the 2017 decision of the Delhi High Court.

“In 2017, the last election of the football federation was set aside by the Delhi High Court. When an SLP was filed in this court, this court appointed a committee headed by former election commissioner and sports secretary S Y Quraishi to prepare a Constitution for AIFF in accordance with the sports code. Even that has been done long ago,” Bhushan told the bench.

“Because of the non-hearing, the same illegal committee has been continuing at the helm for over the last 10 years,” he added.

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The Sport Ministry for their part too had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court earlier in the year, stating that Praful Patel has no mandate to continue as AIFF president, considering that he has already served three terms and that the national body should hold elections without further delay.

Patel completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF president in December 2020, the maximum permitted to a national sports federation (NSF) chief under the Sports Code, though the AIFF id not hold the elections, citing a pending petition in the Supreme Court regarding its constitution.

In February, at the AIFF AGM in Mumbai, Patel had finally agreed to constitute a committee to look into the matter. The three-member committee was asked to submit their report in three months.

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