Praful Patel's election to the FIFA Council comes at a time when football in India is facing one of its biggest crisis -- clubs in the country's top flight, the I-league, are in open conflict with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the way it has treated the competition in relation to the Indian Super League (ISL).
On April 6, 2019, at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) congress in Kuala Lumpur, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel was elected to the FIFA Council. This Council is, in theory at least, world football's most powerful decision and policy making body. Patel will be representing the interests of not only India, but all of Asian football. The election comes at a time when football in India is in the throes of its biggest crisis in recent years. Clubs in the country's top flight, the I-league, are in open conflict with the AIFF and the way it has treated the I-League vis-à-vis the newly created (ISL) Indian Super League (a private competition promoted by a joint venture between Reliance Industries and the broadcast network Star). Their grouse: that Patel and the AIFF did not even have to time to grant them a meeting.
When the announcement was made, hundreds of fans of the sport took to social media to criticise Patel and the AIFF's brazenness in celebrating this election while completely ignoring the plight of Indian clubs. Senior journalist Sharda Ugra joins Arjun Pandit and Siddhanth Aney to talk about what the issues are and why it is important for the AIFF to be an impartial and balanced body that functions based on the democratic processes outlined in its constitution.
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