Indian Football

Ombudsman Bhaskar Ganguly writes to Chief Justice to advise AIFF to conduct elections

Arjun Singh Devgan
Praful Patel has already completed 12 years as president of the AIFF
Praful Patel has already completed 12 years as president of the AIFF / SADIQ ASYRAF/GettyImages

Former India men's national team skipper and Ombudsman, Bhaskar Ganguly has written a letter to Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana requesting the official to advise the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to implement a new constitution and conduct presidential elections.

Ganguly and former Chief Election Commissioner of India, SY Qureshi were nominated as Ombudsmen by the Supreme Court and were tasked with drafting a new AIFF constitution in accordance with the National Sports Code as per an order on 10/11/2017. They submitted the draft in January 2020 but since then the Supreme Court is yet to hold a hearing on the matter.

"As a sports person/former India football captain, my prayer to the hon'ble court to take priority of this case and approve the 'New Constitution' and advise the AIFF to implement it immediately and conduct the election as per the 'New Constitution'. So that development of football in India can continue," he wrote in a letter as per News9 Sports.

"Hence, my submission to you to expedite the case as early as possible," the letter further stated.

Patel completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF president in December 2020, the maximum permitted to a national sports federation (NSF) chief under the Sports Code, though the AIFF did not hold the elections, citing a pending petition in the Supreme Court regarding its constitution.

In February, at the AIFF AGM in Mumbai, Patel had finally agreed to constitute a committee to look into the matter. The three-member committee was asked to submit their report in three months - though nothing has come out of it so far.