Veteran administrators Subrata Dutta and Larsing Ming’s nominations ahead of the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) elections have been rejected by the poll’s returning officer, Umesh Sinha.
“Their nominations in AIFF electoral college from Indian Football Association (IFA) and Meghalaya FA have been rejected by the returning officer. They have both been disqualified for not fulfilling the qualification criteria,” said an AIFF source about the two who have been in the AIFF executive committee for three terms, making them ineligible to contest for any post for the next fours, as per a clause in the National Sports Code.
The IFA had nominated its chairman Dutta, who has been the AIFF’s senior vice-president during Praful Patel’s reign, to the electoral college of the federation on Thursday.
Meghalaya’s Ming, whose eligibility was in doubt, was also nominated by the association. The Supreme Court, in its August 3 verdict, has set August 28 as the date for the election.
According to the order, the returning officer will prepare the final list of voters comprising representatives from 36 state associations and 36 eminent football players from all over India — 24 male and 12 female.
Nomination papers can be filed from August 17 to 19 by the candidates and delivered to the returning officer in person or by post. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the sport in the country had earlier appointed the returning officer for the elections.
As far as the presidential candidate of the AIFF is concerned, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal may also throw his hat in the ring, according to sources.
The 59-year-old Sonowal, currently holding the portfolio of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in the Union Council of Ministers and a former Union sports minister, had approached the Assam Football Association regarding a possible nomination for the AIFF polls. It has been not been finalised, though.