India: SC to hear AIFF's appeal on Praful Patel's election scandal

Counsel said that AIFF would not be able to bid for hosting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

Praful Patel
Praful Patel Reuters

The Supreme Court of India will hear on 10 November, Friday, an appeal from All India Football Federation (AIFF) to challenge Delhi High court's verdict of setting aside the election of Praful Patel as the President of the sports organization.

"The high court had set aside the election of AIFF committee. We are seeking a stay on it (high court's order). Under the FIFA Rules, a country is recognised only if there is an elected body and if there is no elected body, a country is derecognised by the FIFA," the AIFF told the bench, as quoted by Times of India.

On 31 October, Tuesday, the Delhi High Court rejected the 2016 December election of AIFF President Patel after observing a breach in the national sports code and guidelines in federation polls and appointed former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi as the AIFF administrator. The High Court later told Quraishi to conduct a fresh election within five months.

However, Amit Anand Tiwari, the counsel of AIFF, mentioned the matter to the bench headed by Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer and sought for a stay order on the high court's verdict.

Tiwari urged for an urgent listing because if the situation remains the same, AIFF would not be able to bid for hosting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, as 14 November is the last date to submit the bid.

Previously, Patel has been in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and heavy industries. In 2009, he took over Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi's chair as AIFF president.

Patel has also been nominated for honourable positions in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as well as in The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

In 2015, he became AFC's senior vice-president and in 2017, he was appointed as a member of FIFA's finance committee for four years.