Indian Football

Downsizing of AIFF executive committee & age related tenure among contentious issues in draft constitution

Arjun Singh Devgan
The CoA have been given deadline over framing of new AIFF constitution
The CoA have been given deadline over framing of new AIFF constitution / AFP Contributor/GettyImages

Downsizing of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) executive committee and the purview of a restrictive clause are reportedly among the multiple objections raised by Indian Football's state associations in the CoA's proposed draft constitution.

The FIFA-AFC delegation had recently conducted a three-day visit of the country where they met with various stakeholders in Indian Football and set a deadline of July 31 for approval of the new constitution and staging of subsequent elections by September 15.

The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) are framing the new constitution as per FIFA's statutes and the National Sports Code, with it emerging that a section of AIFF's state associations have objected to the reduction in the AIFF's executive committee size, which has been trimmed from the existing 17 to eight in the draft constitution. The state FAs want it to be expanded to 24 or at least kept at the existing 17.

Apart from its president and treasurer, five vice presidents (one from each zone), and two members each from every zone constitute the executive committee. The general secretary is an appointee and hence not included in the ExCo.

The elections are contested for the post of president, treasurer, vice presidents and ExCo members. No election occurs for the secretary since a salaried professional is appointed for that position, as per the existing AIFF charter.

"We wanted to maintain the existing number of executive committee members and vice presidents. The CoA suggested otherwise. With India being such a big country, each zone needs a vice president of its own. Otherwise, it is very difficult to govern everything from Football House (AIFF headquarters in Delhi). So, we raised the issue at the meeting with the CoA and FIFA," a state association official told News 9.

"FIFA said considering India's size they don't mind the number but there should be a consensus regarding it. The draft constitution proposes one president, one vice president, one treasurer, and one representation from the zones."

The second point of contention relates to age and tenure limitations of the Federation members, with an age limit of 70 years or having been in office for 12 years, whichever comes earlier being set for all the administrators.

However, this clause is currently only applicable only for the president, secretary, and treasurer, as per the Sports Code.

"They want the tenure should be retrospectively or prospectively applied. Those who have served in any post at the AIFF from before, be it an elected capacity or nominated, want their previous tenure not to be counted so that they can make a fresh start. They are saying that their 12 years should start now," the report concluded.