Kushal Das calls for a meeting with AIFF State units, with Praful Patel ‘in attendance’

The AIFF general secretary calls for an informal meeting on Sunday “to give an update on the recent order of the Honourable Supreme Court.”

Kushal Das is a paid official and not an elected member of the erstwhile executive committee led by Praful Patel.   -  Special Arrangement

Kushal Das, the AIFF general secretary, has called for a meeting on Sunday of AIFF State units in the aftermath of the Supreme Court order to remove Praful Patel as president and form a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the affairs.

Kushal has called for an informal virtual meeting of presidents and secretaries of member State associations at 3pm on Sunday “to give an update on the recent order of the Honourable Supreme Court.”

“Mr. Praful Patel will also be in attendance,” he said in the invite sent on an AIFF letterhead.

A State unit official, however, doubted Kushal’s authority to call such a meeting without consulting the CoA. Kushal is a paid official and not an elected member of the erstwhile executive committee led by Praful, who is also currently the president of Western India Football Association. “There is no president and executive committee of AIFF now. [Kushal] is under CoA and his reporting authority is CoA. How can he call such a meeting without keeping CoA in the loop? I think [Kushal] has not even sent a copy of the meeting invite to the CoA,” the official said.

S. Y. Quraishi, one of the members of the CoA, told PTI that Kushal could continue in his job.

RELATED - Praful Patel leaves office ahead of elections after Supreme Court intervention

Praful’s reign as president of the AIFF came to an unceremonious end after the Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a three-member CoA to run the day-to-day affairs of the national federation. The apex court named a panel headed by Justice (retd.) A. R. Dave, with Quraishi, a former Chief Election Commissioner, and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian football team, as members.

Praful’s third term in office ended in December, 2020, but he clung to a Supreme Court case which remained pending since 2017 to extend his executive committee’s term while refusing to hold elections till the issue of a new constitution was settled by the top court.

Meanwhile, Kerala Football Association (KFA) on Saturday joined Football Delhi in urging world governing body FIFA not to ban India in the aftermath of the Supreme Court order. “...in view of the same (Supreme Court order to appoint a CoA), we feel that the FIFA may take disciplinary measures against India. We request your good self to kindly take utmost care in handling this situation in Indian football and take appropriate decision which deemed fit for the growth of Indian football,” KFA president Tom Jose wrote in a letter to FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura.

On Friday, Football Delhi president Shaji Prabahakaran had written to FIFA not to take “any adverse measure” on India and asked the world body to review the circumstances in their entirety before reaching any decision. “The Supreme Court was left with no other option. It is a special case and it was unavoidable as it (continuation of AIFF EC under Praful) was against the spirit of good governance practices,” Prabhakaran wrote in the latter to Samoura.

“...any decision to move FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (to be hosted by India in October) out of the country will have serious consequences on the future of football in India.

“...request you to send a high power delegation to India to meet all stakeholders, member associations, Committee of Administrators and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to have a dialogue and arrive at a decision which lead to the best interest of Indian football.”

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :