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What The FIFA Suspension Of All India Football Federation Means For India

Adjourning all issues relating to the suspension of AIFF by FIFA to August 22, the SC on Wednesday asked Centre to take proactive steps to ensure that the Under-17 Women’s World Cup was held as per schedule. 

The future of the U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, which was slated to be held on October, has come under suspense after the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on Tuesday suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect, owing to “undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes”.

Here’s the FIFA statement.

This is the first time the AIFF was banned by FIFA in its 85-year-old history.

According to football’s apex body, the suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF executive committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of AIFF’s daily affairs.

Why did FIFA ban AIFF?

FIFA suspended the AIFF for undue influence
Credit: Twitter@IndianFootball

On May 18, the Supreme Court removed Praful Patel as AIFF president on May 18 for not holding elections due in December 2020. According to the Centre’s National Sports Development Code, Patel had served three terms of four years each as the AIFF president, the maximum time period an administrator can serve.

The court appointed a three-member committee of administrators (CoA), comprising former top court judge AR Dave, ex-chief election commissioner SY Quraishi and former India football captain Bhaskar Ganguly, to manage the affairs of the national federation.

FIFA saw this court move as against its statutes, which dictated that member federations must be free from legal and political interference in their respective countries.

What does the ban mean

The suspension, according to FIFA, meant that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India from the 11th to 30th October 2022, cannot be held as planned. If this happens, India’s participation in the world cup would be in doubt, as it was part of the tournament on account of it being the host. The decision means that no Indian football team can play international matches, while Indian clubs will not be allowed to compete in continental tournaments. Even though the ban does not directly impact the functioning of the local leagues, be it the Indian Super League, I-League or the Indian Women’s League, the domestic competitions will not be recognised by the governing body.

What next

FIFA is assessing the next steps and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council, which decided on the suspension.

The international governing body of football is also in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India to reach a positive outcome, FIFA’s press release stated.

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