Former India captains file PIL against AIFF; alleges mismanagement of football

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Former India captains file PIL against AIFF; alleges mismanagement of football

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Arun S Kaimal

07/30/2016

Two former Indian football team captains, Bhaskar Ganguly and Manoranjan Bhattacharya, have filed a PIL against the AIFF and the sports ministry alleging mismanagement of football in India. The PIL seeks appropriate directions from Supreme Court for setting up a committee to oversee administration.

After the cleaning up of cricket by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee, football could become the next sport to go through an administrative reform after former India captains filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court alleging negligence of development of football in the country by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Bhaskar Ganguly, Legendary goalkeeper and captain of India during 1982 Asian Games, and defender Manoranjan Bhattacharya are the two PIL litigants.

AIFF has grossly mismanaged and arbitrarily administered the sport the sport of football in the country, resulting in violations of the rights of players, domestic clubs and the football watching public in India."

"AIFF has grossly mismanaged and arbitrarily administered the sport the sport of football in the country, resulting in violations of the rights of players, domestic clubs and the football watching public in India," states the PIL, reported Times of India.

In the plea, the litigants have also evoked various sections of the Indian constitution that includes the protection of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 (1) (a) and 19 (1) (g). The litigants also question the role of IMG-Reliance, who holds the all commercial rights to football in India and at the same time own and promote Indian Super League (ISL).

"The IMG-RIL has a direct conflict of interest as they hold all commercial rights to football in India and at the same time own and promote Indian Super League... and ignore promotion and popularising the game involving the clubs who are the most important stakeholders and the backbone of any sport in any country."

AIFF and IMF-RIL have ignored obligations towards the development and promotion of domestic tournaments."

"AIFF and IMF-RIL have ignored obligations towards the development and promotion of domestic tournaments."

The PIL also questions the casual and unprofessional attitude of AIFF in allowing clubs to withdraw from the I-League.

When told about the PIL, AIFF's senior vice-president Subrata Dutta told TOI, "AIFF is in a strong position to answer clearly and transparently all the questions raised if required." 

Also, read : Why every sport in India needs a Lodha committee

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