The All India Football Federation(AIFF) was officially suspended by FIFA on 16th August with “immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.” This decision also implies that the Under-17 women’s World Cup, scheduled to take place in India from October 11-30, would not go ahead as planned.
The apex court of India had already disbanded the AIFF in May and appointed a three-member committee to govern the sport, amend the federation’s constitution, and conduct elections that have been pending for 18 months.
Following this, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation sent a team led by AFC general secretary Windsor John to meet Indian football stakeholders and laid down a roadmap for the AIFF to amend its statutes by the end of July, and subsequently conclude elections at the latest by September 15.
In its statement on Monday, FIFA said, “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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.”
The Supreme Court had ordered elections to be held immediately earlier this month and said that it would act as an interim body for a period of 3 months. The AIFF elections, formerly led by FIFA Council member Praful Patel, were to be held by December 2020 but were delayed due to a deadlock over amendments to its constitution.
“FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved,” said the international football association.
According to FIFA statutes, member federations must be free from legal and political interference in their respective states. FIFA has previously suspended other national associations over similar cases.
Meanwhile, the Centre is going to mention the suspension of AIFF over a Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna that “some development” has taken place in FIFA’s press release with respect to the AIFF. He added that the matter must be heard immediately.
References: Indian Express, Business Today, Live Law
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