FIFA wants AIFF to have 25 per cent eminent player representation in their Executive Committee as co-opted members instead of the 50 per cent mentioned in the draft constitution by CoA. The Supreme Court of India had appointed a Committee of Administrators that sent the final draft constitution to FIFA on 13 July.
FIFA-AFC responded to the constitution and made its observations via a letter addressed to AIFF acting general secretary Sunando Dhar. The letter said, “As per the draft Statutes shared with us, there will be an additional 35 Eminent Players in the AIFF Congress from the exiting 35 Member Associations. Although we agree that the players’ voice needs to be heard, we are also of the view that the importance of the existing members of the AIFF should not be undermined.”
“To bring in 50 per cent of the members in the Congress structure which equals the current membership structure is not prudent idea, and the AIFF should seek to be more diverse in future.”
“However, we understand the requirements of the Sports Code of India and recommend AIFF to bring in a presence of above 25 per cent of the Eminent Players in the AIFF Executive Committee as Co-opted Members.”
The draft constitution also includes that when a state association office-bearer becomes an AIFF executive member, he/she must automatically renounce their post at the state body and vice versa. Replying to this FIFA-AFC wrote, “such a proposal would make it difficult for the Members to get re-elected again at the respective Member Associations in the event that they cannot serve their full term in the Executive Committee of AIFF for any reason.”
The letter also raises concerns about the local football stakeholders that the Supreme Court could establish in its decision that any future amendments to the AIFF Statutes will be validated again by the Courts.
“In this regard, we are of the opinion that the AIFF Congress, as the supreme and legislative body of AIFF, should remain entitled in future to amend the AIFF Statutes without the need for the Courts to validate the relevant changes,” FIFA-AFC said.
“In this context, and for the sake of good order, we would like to stress that any future changes to the AIFF Statutes should however be fully in line with the requirements and principles of both FIFA and the AFC, in addition to the national legal framework in place.” A FIFA-AFC team visited India last month to analyse the situation after the SC expelled the office bearers led by Praful Patel and had set strict deadlines to hold elections by 15 September.