New Delhi: The lure of plum posts has left the All India Football Federation (AIFF) a "divided house", with 12 state associations reportedly objecting to Praful Patel`s appointment as president for a second straight term.
A few of those who have objected to Patel`s candidature immediately after the AGM last December after failing to get elected to the posts they had hoped for, have admitted to have sent blank nomination papers signed by probable office-bearers to the AIFF.
"12 state associations have protested to Patel`s nomination. They had sent blank nominations in anticipation that they would be elected by the president. But those who did not, have straightaway protested. This has left the house divided," an AIFF official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Another official said that the whole procedure to pick the office bearers unopposed in the AGM has led to this situation.
"The fact is what has left some of them disappointed is that they did not get what they were hoping for."
It may be noted that two days before the AIFF elections were to be held, the Delhi High Court, acting on an application filed by lawyer-activist Rahul Mehra, had asked the federation to conduct the polls under the government`s Sports Code.
Mehra had alleged that Patel collected blank nomination papers signed by probable office-bearers from the state federations.
It is not pleasant at all that I had to approach the court but there was no option left for me. I am glad that I have been proved right and it has lifted my morale ahead for the Asian Games.
Manoj Kumar, Indian boxer