Shillong, Aug 17: Eugeneson Lyngdoh (pictured) will be the Meghalaya Football Association’s representative on the All India Football Federation’s electoral college, replacing MFA President Larsing Ming Sawyan, whose name was rejected by the Returning Officer.

The RO had published a provisional list on Saturday, with time until Tuesday morning to challenge any disqualifications. The MFA had put forward Sawyan as its representative on the electoral college but this was rejected on Saturday as he was “deemed disqualified as per provision of the draft constitution” as he has already served three terms as AIFF Vice-President and the draft constitution, as per the Sports Code, places a limit of 12 years on anyone serving in the executive committee.

This same rule had applied to West Bengal’s nominee, Subrata Datta, who had been Senior Vice-President at the AIFF.

Sawyan and Datta argued separately that the AIFF draft constitution has dropped Vice-President as a role in the executive committee and, therefore, the limit should not apply to them.

“To be disqualified and prohibited at the age of 44 years of age to further render service for the development of Indian football would be a personal tragedy,” Sawyan said in his appeal to the RO. “I do hope that the above submission satisfies your doubts and my nomination is reinstated.”

The RO rejected that argument, saying that the provision applies to anyone who had served in the executive committee for 12 years, ruling out both Sawyan and Datta.

Both the MFA and the Indian Football Association (representing West Bengal) then put forward alternative nominees, as they are entitled to.

Lyngdoh has the advantage of having been a former international footballer and, more recently, a sports administrator as he is the current President of the Shillong Sports Association, as well as an elected MLA.

Nominations for office bearers in the AIFF executive committee can be submitted from today up to Friday, with the election supposed to be held on 28th August.

However, the whole election process has come under a cloud after FIFA’s banning of the AIFF.

The action was taken considering the “third-party influence” that the AIFF has been subjected to. After the AIFF stalled its own elections, the Supreme Court put it under a Committee of Administrators that will run the election process and clear the jam in the formulation of an AIFF constitution that is meant to follow the provisions of the National Sports Code.

FIFA has not been happy that the AIFF electoral college includes 36 retired international footballers, which is equal to the number of representatives of the state associations. The world governing body would have, reportedly, been willing to accept individual co-opted members of 25% of the total.

(TSR file photo)

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