On Monday, the Supreme Court stopped the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), appointed by the Delhi High Court under the national sports code, from taking over the affairs of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). A Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna also extended the election programme of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) by a week from the scheduled August 28.
The court said its decision will facilitate revocation of the AIFF’s suspension by Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world body of football, facilitate holding the Under-17 World Cup in India, and allow international participation by the Indian teams. The apex court passed the order on Monday to ensure that the IOA does not face the fate of the AIFF.
The top court also handed back the AIFF’s day-to-day management to its existing administration headed by its acting secretary-general and not former Union minister Praful Patel who was its president earlier.
On August 15, FIFA had imposed a ban on the AIFF due to “third party interference”, saying that the Under-17 Women’s FIFA World Cup showpiece “cannot currently be held in India as planned”. This is the first time that the AIFF has been banned by FIFA in its 85-year history.
Desperate to get the FIFA ban revoked, the Centre on Sunday moved the Supreme Court to end the “mandate” of the CoA as demanded by the world governing body.
On Monday, the Centre told the Supreme Court that one of FIFA’s concerns was that the administration and management of AIFF should be conducted by a duly-elected body and not by a third party (CoA) and hence the CoA should be scrapped.
On May 18 this year, the SC had ousted Patel as AIFF president for not holding elections due in December 2020 and appointed the three-member CoA, headed by former top court judge AR Dave. The CoA was also asked to frame its constitution in line with the national sports code and model guidelines. The sports code requires regular elections of all sports bodies in the country to put an end to some persons’ monopoly to run them for years with impunity.