THE Fiji Football Association has been hit with claims of abuse of power in the lead-up to its 75th annual congress in Lautoka next month.
This has led to vice-president's nominee Iqbal Khan threatening court action against the parent body.
Three vice-president's posts will be up for grabs at the congress with Khan coming up against Jitendra Kumar, the incumbent vice-president.
Iqbal Khan and Associates, acting for Khan, wrote to the Fiji FA yesterday seeking clarifications on the validity of Khan's nomination submitted by Navua Football Association. "We are informed and verily believe that your office (FFA) has advised that Mr Khan's nomination cannot be valid because Navua FA cannot withdraw their nomination which they had made earlier," they wrote.
"We put you on notice if you could kindly advise us as a matter of urgency whether Khan's nomination is valid and we seek your response by 2pm this afternoon (yesterday), failing which we shall make an urgent application to the High Court for certain directions."
The FFA responded through chief executive Bob Kumar saying the time limit "to take us to court within three hours" was "unreasonable".
"At this stage, the issue of validity of the nomination is an internal matter to be determined by the FFA," Kumar replied.
"As a nominee, your function is to consent to the nomination. The validity is an issue between Navua FA and FFA."
The FFA also handed over the Iqbal Khan and Associates letter to their lawyers for legal opinion.
Samuel K Ram Barristers and Solicitors, acting for FFA, then wrote back saying they were "looking into the contents of your (Iqbak Khan and Associates) letter and will respond before midday tomorrow (today)".
Khan, under whose guidance Lautoka won the IDC in 1984, '85 and in 2008, was feeling unwell and resting at home. He said he would comment today once he has heard from the FFA's lawyers.
Arvin Datt, the vice-president's nominee for South and contesting against interim VP Ravin Swamy, claimed that affiliated districts had been briefed by the FFA "to sign nominations for only a particular group of candidates in order to block others from contesting elections for the vice-president's post".
He further called on the FFA to show "more responsibility and transparency".
Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel denied Datt's claims.
"He should read the Fiji FA statutes and then comment," Patel said.
"Nobody has stopped anybody from standing. Candidates who are standing will do their campaign and allegations against me are totally baseless."
Datt, managing director of 3SA Carpets, praised Navua FA and its president Faud Ali for "having the courage" to withdraw his earlier nominations and nominate him, Khan and Hussein Saheb (Northern VP's post) to give the delegates "a choice in the election".
Navua FA withdrew its earlier nominations for Jai Kumar and Girja Prasad (interim North VP). The FFA congress is set for next Wednesday but Times Sport understands that several super premier districts have written to the FFA wanting it moved to Thursday October 10, a public holiday.