Failure to form a tribunal for handling disputes between a player and a club had earned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) a rap on the knuckles at a meeting on May 16, two days before the Supreme Court appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators to end Praful Patel’s reign as president of the organisation.
During the meeting, which was attended by representatives of world governing body Fifa, players’ association FIFPRO and the European Club Association along with the AIFF, the federation was admonished for its dilly-dallying over the implementation of the National Dispute Resolution Chambers (NDRC). The AIFF’s legal team had attended the meeting.
NDRC is an independent arbitration tribunal, established at the national level within the framework of the association and/or a collective bargaining agreement on the principle of equal representation to offer swift, specialised and cheaper mechanisms in order to resolve disputes.
That means the NDRC in India will have equal representation from the AIFF, the FIFPRO-recognised Football Players Association of India and the club concerned. At this point in time, the players’ status committee (PSC) of the federation is settling contractual disputes between an aggrieved player and erring club. “Even though the committee has been doing their job competently, in most of the cases it takes months to give a verdict. When NDRC comes into effect the judgment will be swift,” a source told The Telegraph.
It has been learnt that FIFPRO told the AIFF in as many words that their reluctance is not helping the players’ cause. “When most of the football associations worldwide had agreed to have their NDRCs, the AIFF strangely has been reluctant. At a meeting held in Kuala Lumpur in 2018, where AIFF was also present, it was decided NDRC would be implemented. But after almost three-and-a-half years nothing has moved forward,” he said.
“The bureaucracy was a hindering factor in the AIFF. There is also a fear in the federation that its wings would be clipped once NDRC comes into effect. Hopefully things will change when the new body takes over after the elections,” the source added.
An informal virtual meeting of all the presidents and secretaries of member-associations is slated for Sunday afternoon. Ousted president Praful Patel will also be in attendance. It has been organised “to give an update on the recent order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the letter, signed by general secretary Kushal Das, said.
Earlier, hours after the apex court’s verdict was uploaded on its website on Friday, Patel said it has brought a “finality to a long-pending issue”. “A speedy resolution, and a newly elected body will serve in the best interest of Indian football,” Patel said in a statement.
The Supreme Court named a panel headed by Justice (retd) Anil Ramesh Dave, with SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian football team, as members.
Request to Fifa
Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran has written to the Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samoura requesting her that any adverse measure must not be taken against India in view of the apex court forming a panel to look after the affairs of Indian football.
Fifa doesn’t allow outside interference — in this case the CoA — and the member-association has to work as an autonomous body.