The All India Football Federation (AIFF) released an official statement on Tuesday, confirming that the current president, Praful Patel will step down from his post and will not seek re-election on his tenure.
This statement by the AIFF comes in response to to an affidavit registered to the Supreme Court, which had stated that Patel's current tenure is over and that it is the duty of the AIFF to conduct elections.
Patel for his part has already completed three terms and 12 years as President of the AIFF and that his team have been putting off holding elections which was supposed to be held in December 2020 after moving to the Supreme Court that elections cannot be held due to the suspension of the constitution.
“All India Football Federation has filed an application before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on 20th November 2020. Suo moto, we have requested the SC to guide us about the next steps that we should take regarding holding the election in our AGM to be held on 21st Dec 2020. What the sports ministry has filed in their recent affidavit in SC is nothing but a reiteration of the issues which we have mentioned in our application to SC," the official statement of the AIFF read.
“As per the constitution of FIFA and AFC, it is mandatory to have an elected body representing the affairs of AIFF. Since our application is still pending with the SC, seeking directions regrading holding the elections, we are constrained to hold office in the absence of a new body. Otherwise AIFF will lose its affiliation with FIFA and AFC and will not be able to either participate or hold any international competition in India including the FIFA U-17 World Cup.”
"We would be more than happy to hold the elections tomorrow if the SC approves our constitution. Already our constitution is in conformity with the National Sports Code adhering the age limit of 70 years and three tenures totalling 12 years. Our President Mr. Praful Patel has stated on several occasions including in the AGM of AIFF that he has completed his tenure and is not seeking re-election," the statement added.
Patel had suggested the formation of a three-member in committee in February to look into the legal aspects of the election, though they are yet to file a report since their formation.