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Above:( L- R) Former President of AIFF Praful Patel. Photo: PIB; Football House, the headquarter of AIFF in Delhi. Photo: AIFF website   

Alarmed at the annulment of the election to the All India Football Federation (AIF) and the unseating of its President Praful Patel by the Delhi High Court on October 31, the national football body has approached the Supreme Court.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for AIFF, said that the sudden and forced dissolution of the elected body has put the AIFF in a serious bind and in the line of fire from FIFA, the world body of the sport. Before the bench of Justices Jasti Chelameswar and Abdul Nazeer, Rohatgi pleaded that this will place in jeopardy the AIFF’s plan to bid for the Under-20 World Cup. The AIFF wants to follow up its organizational success with the Under-17 World Cup with this tournament.

While the court said it was willing to hear the case on Monday (November 13) Rohatgi insisted that this was urgent, because the last date for placing its bid for the World Cup was November 14. The bench then agreed to hear the case on Friday.

The high court had set aside the election of NCP leader Praful Patel as AIFF president, citing that the election process was not as per requirements of the National Sports Code. The court had also appointed former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi as the administrator-cum-returning officer to conduct fresh polls to the sports body.

—India Legal Bureau

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