Praful Patel, AIFF ex-president pleads FIFA to not ban India

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Praful Patel, AIFF ex-president pleads FIFA to not ban India

Praful Patel: AIFF was placed under a Committee of Administrators by FIFA due to external interference. The president of the federation, Praful Patel was removed from the post by the supreme Court on Monday.

Patel has written a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino requesting FIFA to not impose a ban on the nation.

“I would also like to point out that the Supreme Court has expressed a sense of urgency in resolving all the issues by July 2022,” Patel wrote.

“I request the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and FIFA to not impose a suspension at this stage, but instead to consider this important aspect of the Supreme Court order and enter into a dialogue with the CoA to receive a commitment that the said timelines laid down by the Supreme Court would be respected and strictly followed without allowing for delays on any account.

Effects of suspension on the national team and Indian clubs

“Noting that the appointment of the COA by the Supreme Court could be prima facie interpreted by both the AFC and FIFA as a case of undue third-party influence/judicial interference, I fear that a suspension by the AFC and/or FIFA will automatically prevent India and/or Indian clubs and players from participating in any international competitions, and deprive the AIFF from receiving much needed development funds at a crucial juncture of development for the game in India.

“Any suspension of the AIFF would also jeooardise the upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers, which will be hosted by India from 8 June 2022 in the football loving city of Kolkata and for which all preparations have been completed. Further the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be held in three states across India from 11-30 October 2022, the first time ever a FIFA women’s competition be held in India, and which is widely expected to boost the women’s game in the country.

“I also note that the AFC and FIFA have a zero-tolerance attitude towards undue third-party interference/influence and several member associations (Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Kuwait, Maldives, Zimbabwe, Kenya, to name a few) have been suspended to restore their autonomy, and that a different standard cannot be applied in the case of the AIFF.

Praful Patel: Appeals legal teams of FIFA and AFC to guide the COA

“I am also cognizant that the aforesaid timelines set by the Supreme Court — though well-meaning and in the interests of an expedited process — may not be acceptable by the AFC or FIFA.

“Further, noting that the draft AIFF Statutes prepared by the ombudsmen/CoA and circulated to the stakeholders needs to be in alignment with the AFC and FIFA Statutes, it is my duty to request you to expedite your feedback to the same, so that all comments can be tabulated per the Supreme Court order and placed before it by 30 June 2022.

“I also appeal to experienced legal teams of the AFC and FIFA to guide the COA, if approached and need be, in the revision of the AIFF statutes.”

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