The Delhi High Court has set aside last year's election of All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel and asked for fresh elections to be held within five months. We take a look at what the court order means for the various stakeholders.
What does the Delhi HC order mean?
It means that Praful Patel will not be in charge of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) till the next five months. His office will be taken over by former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi. Patel wasn't banned so he can still contest for the next election, he longer holds office -- and so cannot attend office at the Football House from today.
What does this mean for the AIFF?
The big decisions will be under the command of Quraishi for the next five months. The specifics of Quraishi's ambit will be explained fully in the order. If needed, Quraishi could seek the court's permission to have a few personal staff to assist him.
Who else is affected?
The rest of the elected officials -- including the entire 'AIFF's Executive committee', that is, Subrata Dutta (senior vice president), Kushal Das (general secretary), vice-presidents from different regions of the country, the treasurer and other members. All together 17 in number will not be in power.
What can Patel do?
He can contest the order in the Supreme Court, which alone can overturn the current order against him. Or he can work along with his other sacked officials to remodel the AIFF's election structures and contest a fresh election.
What has the AIFF said?
"AIFF conducted its election under the supervision of a retired High Court Judge, who acted as the Returning Officer," the AIFF said in a release. "AIFF's election process is as per the FIFA and AFC statutes as well. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports also confirmed and verified in the past that AIFF's election was in strict compliances with its Constitution and National Sports Code. AIFF is not aware of the reasons of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court to pass this order. Once AIFF receives the copy of the Order from the Hon'ble High Court, AIFF will decide the course of action in accordance with the law."
What does this mean for ISL 2017?
The Indian Super League (ISL) will go on and this order shouldn't have any effect on the league's operations. The ISL is owned by IMG-Reliance, Star Sports and the AIFF combined, so Patel's axe shouldn't have any effect on operations and the important decisions of the league.