Madras High Court Constitutes Committee To Manage Affairs Of TN Football Association, Says Players Can't Be Deprived Opportunity Amid Disputes

Upasana Sajeev

16 Oct 2023 8:15 AM GMT

  • Madras High Court Constitutes Committee To Manage Affairs Of TN Football Association, Says Players Cant Be Deprived Opportunity Amid Disputes

    The Madras High Court recently appointed an administrative committee headed by Justice AK Rajan (Retd) and consisting four other members to look into the affairs of the Tamil Nadu Football Association till a new administrative committee was appointed. The bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq was hearing an appeal preferred by the association again the order of...

    The Madras High Court recently appointed an administrative committee headed by Justice AK Rajan (Retd) and consisting four other members to look into the affairs of the Tamil Nadu Football Association till a new administrative committee was appointed.

    The bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq was hearing an appeal preferred by the association again the order of a single judge finding it guilty of wilfully disobeying an earlier court order with respect to the management of the association and conduct of election to the association. Noting that disputes between the associations were depriving opportunities for young players, the court stressed that sports symbolises the spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, mutual respect, leadership quality, command and communication, fostering the spirit of accepting victory and defeat as one and the same.

    β€œThe spirit behind the Khelo India Movement is to unearth the talent and potential from every possible part of our diversed and vast country, both in terms of landscape and population. However, in this case, due to the disputes between the plaintiffs [Penner Junior FC] and the defendants [TN Football Association], some sports events, tournaments or competitions could not be conducted, whereby the sports personnel were deprived of an opportunity to exhibit their prowess, talent and skill and the same should not be allowed to continue any further,” the court observed.

    Thus, the court opined that till the time the issues received quietus and the elections were conducted, the administrative committee could look into the affairs of the association. The court directed the committee to convene a general body meeting and address the grievances before conducting the elections. Further, wherever there were no office bearers, the court directed the committee to conduct elections to the District Football Associations after verifying the list of members.

    The committee was also responsible for performing all the functions of the association including conduct of sports meet, to implement programs of the All India Football Federation, engage the services of professionals and coaches to select the players and ensure that the meets are conducted promptly. The committee was also responsible for the statutory audit of the association and file a report in the court.

    The committee was further directed to ensure that there was no arbitrariness or discrimination in the selection process and to ensure that adequate representation was given to women at every level. The committee was also asked to put in place a Vishaka Committee to address the grievance of the women football players.

    The court also asked the committee to conduct a detailed study of various football associations including amendments that can be made to the bye-laws, welfare programs for retired players, promotion of game, adequacy of compensation to players, steps for transparency and fair place etc.

    The main suit was filed by Penner Senior FC, challenging the manner in which the Tamil Nadu Football Association, the apex body of football in Tamil Nadu was functioning. It was alleged that the office bearers of the association continued to manage the affairs even though their tenure had ended, without conducting fresh elections. It was also alleged that the office bearers were functioning against the constitution and principles of natural justice.

    The court also went on to comment that though the Government had introduced the Khelo India Movement to encourage sports, the Sports associations, in pursuit of power and authority were involving themselves in conflict and affecting the young players.

    Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr. A.L. Gandhimathi, Senior Advocate for Mr. C. Santhosh Kumar

    Counsel for the Respondent: Mr. K.Seshasayee, Mrs.Rohini Ravikumar

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 317

    Case Title: Tamil Nadu Football Association and Others v Pennar Junior FC and Others

    Case No: Original Side Appeal Nos. 277 to 281 of 201


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