AIFF’s Executive Committee Meeting and Shaji Prabhakaran’s Ongoing Saga

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In a recent turn of events, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) finds itself entangled in a legal and procedural quagmire regarding the dismissal of Shaji Prabhakaran from the position of secretary-general last November. The AIFF has called an executive committee meeting for Wednesday, with the agenda prominently featuring Prabhakaran’s dismissal, yet he claims to have received no invitation to the meeting.

Prabhakaran, a former FIFA official, obtained a stay on his dismissal from the Delhi High Court in December. The court’s ruling on January 19 emphasized a critical procedural error in the dismissal process, noting that Prabhakaran was removed by an AIFF emergency committee. According to the federation’s constitution, only the executive committee holds the authority for such decisions. The court order explicitly mentioned that there is no prohibition on the AIFF conducting an executive committee meeting for the purpose of terminating Prabhakaran’s tenure.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, sent by AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey, includes an item regarding the dismissal and termination of service of Dr Shaji Prabhakaran from the post of secretary-general. However, Prabhakaran claims he has not been invited, raising questions about the transparency and fairness of the proceedings.

One AIFF official mentioned that there is no set rule for when invitations should be sent for an executive committee meeting, typically aligning with the release of the agenda. This has sparked discussions among committee members about whether Prabhakaran, still considered in office by the AIFF, should have been the one sending the agenda.

In light of these developments, an executive committee member, preferring to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, raised concerns about the lack of invitation to Prabhakaran. The member suggested that Prabhakaran should have been invited to the meeting to allow the executive committee an opportunity to question him, aligning with Prabhakaran’s own desire for an opportunity to address the federation’s members.

As the AIFF navigates this intricate situation, questions linger about the adherence to due process, fairness, and the role of the executive committee in resolving the ongoing saga surrounding Shaji Prabhakaran’s dismissal.

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