FIFA, AFC Ask AIFF to Add Eminent Players in Governing Body; Want Role of Courts to Diminish

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The international football federation (FIFA) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have asked the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to add eminent players in the AIFF governing body as co-opted members instead of getting them as elected members, and added that while the players’ voice needs to be heard, the importance of the existing members should not be undermined.

In a letter to the acting general secretary, AIFF, FIFA-AFC made reference to the clause ‘Presence of Eminent Players (Article 1.18 and Article 20.2) in the General Body (Congress) of the AIFF’.

“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,” FIFA-AFC opined.

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FIFA-AFC also said that bringing in 35 eminent players in the AIFF governing body would not be a “prudent idea” as it could alter the membership structure, adding that instead of 50 per cent, a presence of 25 per cent of the eminent players in the AIFF Executive Committee as co-opted members would be a good idea to start with.

“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 (National) 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,” FIFA-AFC wrote.

FIFA-AFC also said the concerns of the local football stakeholders that the Supreme Court may establish in its decision that any future amendments to the AIFF constitution will have to be validated again by the courts, also need to be addressed.

“We refer to recent feedback received from local football stakeholders which have raised concerns that the Supreme Court may also establish in its decision that any future amendments to the AIFF Statutes will have to be validated again by the courts,” FIFA-AFC said.

“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. 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,” they wrote in the letter.

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