May appoint footballer as AIFF ombudsman: SC

May appoint footballer as AIFF ombudsman: SC

May appoint footballer as AIFF ombudsman: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday said it could appoint an eminent footballer as an ombudsman, besides former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, to implement the Delhi High Court order for reforming the constitution of All India Football Federation (AIFF).

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud also said it would pass an order on the plea filed by the AIFF challenging the High Court verdict setting aside the election of NCP leader Praful Patel as the president of the sports body.

The bench said it has already asked BCCI to co-operate in the framing of its constitution and like the cricket body, AIFF can also be asked to frame an amended constitution incorporating the suggestions of the Delhi High Court. "We can appoint an eminent footballer as ombudsman along with the former Chief Election Commissioner," the bench said.

The bench also asked lawyer Rahul Mehra, who had filed the plea in the High Court, to give suggestions so that the status of Indian football gets a boost.

Mehra said the lack of infrastructure at grassroot level and interest shown by the sports authorities to popularise the sport, had pushed India to 105th position in the world.

The apex court had agreed to hear the appeal of AIFF challenging the Delhi High Court verdict setting aside the election of Patel as its president.

The High Court, on October 31, had also appointed former CEC Quraishi as the administrator-cum-returning officer to conduct fresh polls to the sport body.

AIFF had sought urgent hearing of its plea saying that the bid for hosting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup was coming up and the last date for its submission was November 14.

However, the Indian FA said that it will decide of the future course of action only after it receives a final order form the apex court. "After hearing the arguments the Supreme Court has reserved its judgment," the FA said in a statement.

"Till the final order is released any report or statement on outcome of the matter is merely speculative. A formal statement will be made by the AIFF upon receipt of the detailed order."