Football Delhi president, Shaji Prabhakaran has made a huge claim, revealing that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) spends more than Rs 3 crore annually in fighting legal cases and that such a big expenditure is not “justified”.
Prabhakaran claims that the current legal team has not brought any progress to the election-related case pending before the Supreme Court since 2017 and has asked for AIFF president, Praful Pate to hold elections of the national body without delay.
"We should not be spending money on taking second opinion rather we should hire a new set of legal teams with 10% of the current legal budget. Annual expense of Rs 3 crore plus on legal matters is significantly high and not justified for AIFF. Many saved here (by reducing legal budget) should be spent in organising national youth championships, youth leagues and youth national teams exposure and camps," he wrote in a letter to AIFF.
"The current set of legal teams have not brought any progress to the case in the last three years. (If) you personally want this case to be settled at the earliest, a new set of lawyers will be given a maximum three months to settle this case." In its executive committee meeting held in Kolkata earlier this month, the AIFF had decided to take opinion of a senior advocate on the way forward, regarding the holding of elections after the three-member committee set up earlier to look into the matter submitted its report to the General Body.
There has been a controversy raging regarding the presidency of the AIFF considering that Patel has already completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF president in December 2020, the maximum permitted to a national sports federation chief under the Sports Code.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court last month, the Sports Ministry had said that Patel has no mandate to continue as AIFF president as he has already served three terms and the national body should hold elections without further delay.