SC appoints Bhaskar Ganguly, Qureshi as ombudsman

Sergio Conner
November 12, 2017

The Supreme Court today said it could appoint an eminent footballer as an ombudsman alongside former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi to implement reforms in the constitution of All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The Delhi High Court had on October 31 set aside the election of Praful Patel as AIFF President on the grounds that it was conducted without following the National Sports Code and asked for fresh polls within five months.

"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.

They have been tasked with formulating the AIFF constitution within eight weeks. But Rahul Mehra put on a scathing rebuttal, alleging that the AIFF had failed to execute its responsibilities, and had dragged the standard of Indian football down compared to the rest of the world.

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The apex court also said the draft constitution should be ready within two months and placed before the court in a sealed envelope. Mehra, who describes himself as a sports activist, told Sportstar that he had recommended the names of former India captains Bhaskar Ganguly and Manoranjan Bhattacharya. "Once AIFF receives the copy of the Order from the High Court, AIFF will decide the course of action in accordance with the law", said the all India board.

"The AIFF, in its response to the verdict, state that it is not aware of the reasons of the Delhi High Court to pass this order".

Patel became acting President of the AIFF in 2008 when its then chief, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi suffered a cardiac arrest.

The AIFF had defended Patel's election for a third term, asserting that it has followed all the provisions laid down by the National Sports Code, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

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