INDIA: Former Indian Footballer Bhaichung Bhutia filed an arbitration petition to the Supreme Court in support of the new constitution for the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) and the 36 electoral players of the college. Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud heads the justice bench. The bench will allow hearing the plea post-India losing the hosting right for the below-17 Women’s World Cup. This is followed by FIFA’s suspension of the AIFF by “undue influence from third parties”.
Bhutia, the former captain, will continue contesting for the post of “It [the draught Constitution] … prioritises and promotes the welfare and participation of current and former players, who are the key stakeholders in any sport, over the vested interests who have been in control of Indian Football for several decades,” the president of the AIFF stated in the petition.
It is submitted that equal representation of the players in the GB with voting rights will give them not only a platform to voice their concerns but also take them to a logical conclusion instead of remaining subservient to the interests of the non-player administrators. He asked to allow all 36 members of the AIFF to give the full effect.
The petition filed by the aced player says, “This draft of the constitution will also give freedom from the domination of some players and politicians for decades. Therefore, the supreme court should fully implement its order given on August 3 because, in that order, only a 36-member committee of eminent and prominent football players will work as a general meeting. They will be part of the electoral college that elects the executive committee.”
Bhutia considered FIFA’s decision to ban Indian football ‘very harsh’, so he continued by saying, “The applicant has been concerned about the complete absence of players’ voice in AIFF’s decision-making processes which persons with vested interests have captured. The applicant is passionate about improving the governance and administration of Indian Football which have deteriorated sharply over the last several years. Player reforms have stagnated, and the administration of AIFF has functioned only for serving vested interests.”
He wanted a reformation in the AIFF, so he took a stand, adding, “The much-needed reforms within AIFF, and the Indian Football at large, cannot be held to ransom because of FIFA’s suspension or any other threats. Revering the existing system would allow the vested interests to have a stranglehold on AIFF for four more years, thereby damaging the sport irreparably.”