The Supreme Court appointed former India football captain Bhaskar Ganguly as Ombudsman alongside SY Quraishi, former chief election commissioner, to “formulate the constitution” of the All India Football Federation.
Ganguly, who led India at the 1982 Asian Games, has not been keeping well and is said to be suffering from a nerve disorder. He was also a petitioner in a plea against the AIFF filed in the top court last year.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, which is also hearing the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) plea against the Lodha Committee reforms, said the constitution will be “in consonance with the National Sports Code and the model guidelines for the conduct of its (AIFF) business, constitution of the executive committee and elections thereto, whilst ensuring that the status and membership (of the AIFF) is not undermined in any manner in the international body (FIFA).”
READ | Sergio Lobera hopes to bring Barcelona flavour to FC Goa in Indian Super League
This will come as temporary relief for AIFF as following a Delhi High Court order, which appointed an administrator for AIFF taking away the powers from president Praful Patel, a FIFA ban seemed imminent.
“We place on record the stand taken by the AIFF before us that the present elected body is committed to extend its full cooperation to the committee of administrators (Ombudsmen) for formulation of the proposed constitution which will be compliant with all respects and ensure transparency, accountability and observance of democratic values in the conduct of business of the federation,” the Supreme Court order added.
READ | Indian Super League 2017-18: Kerala Blasters look to become third time lucky
The apex court also said the draft constitution should be ready within two months and placed before the court in a sealed envelope. The overall process may take longer as AIFF sources said it would take at least three months to change the constitution and another one-and-a-half months to conduct elections.
Last year, Ganguly and former India skipper Manoranjan Bhattacharya had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court requesting the setting up of a committee to oversee the condition of the AIFF administration and development of football in India.
The PIL alleged the AIFF had “grossly mismanaged and arbitrarily administered the sport of football in the country, resulting in violations of the rights of players, domestic clubs and the football-watching public in India.”