AIFF gets warning from FIFA over third party influence

By: Aveek Chakraborty

Former AIFF President Praful Patel with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Bengaluru, November 5: Football’s governing body FIFA has warned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that they cannot be influenced by legal or political interference from inside the country, following the recent shocking removal of AIFF President Praful Patel.

Patel was removed from his duty after the recently concluded U17 World Cup with the allegations that his election was not completely perfect. The notice came after Delhi High Court's order on Tuesday which invalidated the AIFF's latest presidential decision and they requested AIFF to sort out the matter quickly.

Patel was first appointed as the president when former AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi endured a heart failure in 2008 and in October 2009, he turned into the full-time president and was re-chosen in December 2012. A year ago, he was again chosen consistently for a third term while Kushal Das was designated as the general secretary, however, according to the High Court the procedure of the selection was not perfect and the decision was influenced by political affairs.

To this allegation, FIFA has recently sent a letter to AIFF and warned them about the 'third party' influence and also asked them to provide the governing body with the whole context of the matter.

“We can confirm that FIFA has today sent a letter to the AIFF requesting more information about Delhi’s High Court decision as well as the steps that AIFF intends to undertake in this matter,” said a FIFA spokesperson.

“FIFA has also reminded the AIFF that in accordance with art. 14 par. 1 Iet. i) and art‚ 19 of the FIFA Statutes all member associations, including the AIFF, are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties.”

FIFA has a strict policy about the political influence in the footballing federations and always maintained that member of the federations must be free from legal and political interference. They earlier suspended countries like Pakistan, Kuwait and Guatemala for third-party interference.

AIFF has reportedly asked FIFA about some time to solve the issue and suggested them that they are consulting with legal advisors to solve and cite the issue as soon as possible.

Story first published: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 12:55 [IST]
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