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AIFF carries out constitution amendments

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, NOV 7 . The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Sunday revamped its constitution, ostensibly to fall in line with the international federation (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) but failed to provide details to the media about the amendments passed at a specially convened general body meeting here.

The AIFF President, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, told newspersons after the meeting that amendments as proposed by the federation were carried out.

Several others, brought forward by the State units were apparently withdrawn. Mr. Dasmunsi said that copies of the amended text would be made available to the media on Monday.

The amendments, as suggested by the AFC in its `Vision India' report, aim to vest practically all powers with the federation president, while making the post of the general secretary a nominated one instead of an elected one.

Important amendment

It is learnt that one of the most important amendments carried out pertains to the elections to the federation. Only those who have served as a principal office-bearer of the federation or a State association for four years during the past 12 years would be eligible to contest for the posts.

Nominations are to be filed 15 days before the elections. Such a restriction on the eligibility of the contestants has obviously not been suggested on the lines of the FIFA constitution. For, FIFA has a simple rule governing the election of its president. Article 24 (1) states: " Only Members may propose candidates for the office of president. Members shall notify the FIFA general secretariat in writing of the name of a candidate for the FIFA presidency at least two months before the date of the Congress."

It was, however, on the pattern of the FIFA constitution that the posts of the vice presidents were sought to be filled, by having a zonal group, comprising state associations, elect a vice president from that particular zone. It was not clear whether this pattern would be followed or not since

Mr. Dasmunsi did not provide details of the amendments suggested by the states, either passed or withdrawn.

Once Maharashtra withdrew all its objections to the proposed amendments, it was a smooth sailing for Mr. Dasmunsi and his team, with the amendments, almost all of them pertaining to the structure of the federation and administrative matters, being carried within the space of a little over an hour at Sunday's meeting.

Professionals

Mr. Dasmunsi said that `professionals' would be running the administrative show in the AIFF from now onwards. Under the new constitution, the AIFF will have one vice-president and two executive members from each of the five zones, apart from the president and the treasurer. The general secretary is to be nominated by the president and it is expected to be a paid job.

It has been the practice with almost all National federations and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in recent times to elect a president and then authorise him to choose the rest of his team. The difference in football could be the appointment of a professional secretary, who would be expected to do a full-time job in heading the federation secretariat.

Federation Cup

The Fedration Cup football tournament will be held at Bangalore from November 24 to December 6.

The fixtures: Nov 24: Mahindra United v Fransa Sports Club, Tollygunje v Salgaocar. Nov 25: Dempo v Eveready, Churchill v Vasco. Nov 26: Mohun Bagan v Indian Bank, JCT v State Bank of Travancore. Nov 27: East Bengal v HAL, Sporting Clube De-Goa v Mohammedan Sporting.

Quarterfinals: Nov 28 to 30. Semifinals: December 3. Final: December 5 or 6.

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