Fifa Suspends All India Football Federation

By Sahil

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FIFA has suspended IFA for the reason that of “undue influence from third parties,” amid concerns over legal interference after India’s Supreme Court appointed a three-member committee to take over the every single day operations of the India football federation.

On Tuesday, FIFA stated in a press release that the “third party” involvement in India’s football association, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), went against their statues, adding that the suspension would be lifted if the Supreme Court’s ruling is repealed and “the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.”

Because of this fact, FIFA has also banned India’s hosting of the under-17 Women’s World Cup.

The statement from football’s governing body arrives just after India’s Supreme Court choosing the committee to take over the “day to day governance” of the AIFF in thd month of May after its president, Praful Patel, failed to hold elections originally scheduled for December 2020.

FIFA undergo on a joint trip to India in June with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) where it “held constructive discussions with local stakeholders regarding the situation at the AIFF.”

FIFA said, “The meetings concluded that the next steps should be the ratification of the AIFF Statutes in line with FIFA/AFC principles of good governance and the holding of an electoral congress to choose the next AIFF leadership. This would be based on a timeline agreed by AIFF stakeholders”.

Nevertheless, just after couple of months of the joint trip, FIFA publicized the suspension of the AIFF.

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes,” the statement 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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.”

Moreover, in a letter from FIFA’s secretary general — Fatma Samoura — to its member associations, Samoura stated: “The AIFF representative and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.

“This also means that neither the AIFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programs, courses or training from FIFA and/or the AFC. Moreover, we would remind you and your affiliates not to enter into any sporting contact with the AIFF and/or its teams while the AIFF is suspended.”

In contrast to the U17 Women’s World Cup, which is about to start on October 11, the statement said: “FIFA is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary.

“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.”

In a declaration released on the AIFF website, the committee in charge of running the AIFF — the Committee of Administrators (CoA) — demonstrate their “surprise and disappointment” at FIFA’s decision to suspend the federation.

“It is unfortunate to see such a directive by FIFA during a time when all efforts were being made to put Indian Football back on the right track,” CoA chairman Justice (retd.) Anil Dave said. “That being said, we are constantly in talks with all the stakeholders, including FIFA, to find the correct solution to this situation, and get the ball rolling once again.

“It is really deplorable that for almost [the] last two years, the body, whose term had already been completed, had continued in an absolutely undemocratic and illegal manner, no action was taken. But when the Hon’ble Supreme Court passed an order to set things right so as to see that a democratically elected body takes charge, and when the CoA and the Sports Ministry were doing their best for the implementation of the Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the order of the suspension was passed by FIFA.”

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