AIFF: FIFA suspends India’s FA over ‘inappropriate third-party influence’, deprives country of U17 Women’s World Cup

FIFA said in a press release on Tuesday that the involvement of “third parties” in the Indian Football Federation, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), is in conflict with their statues, adding that the suspension would be lifted if the Supreme Court ruling is overturned. withdrawn and “the AIFF administration regains full control of the day-to-day affairs of the AIFF.”

As part of the move, FIFA has also gutted India’s under-17 World Cup organization.

Football’s governing body’s ruling comes after India’s Supreme Court in May appointed the committee to take over the “day-to-day management” of the AIFF after its president, Praful Patel, failed to hold elections originally planned. scheduled for December 2020.

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

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

However, just over two months after the joint trip, FIFA announced the suspension of the AIFF.

“The Office of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect for undue influence on third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of FIFA statutes,” the statement said.

“The suspension will be lifted once an order establishing a committee of trustees to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee is revoked and the AIFF administration regains full control of the day-to-day affairs of the AIFF.”

In a letter from FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura to member associations, Samoura said: “The AIFF representative and club teams will therefore no longer have the right to participate in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.

This also means that neither the AIFF nor any of its members or officials can benefit from FIFA and/or the AFC development programs, courses or training. In addition, we would like to remind you and your affiliates not to engage in any sporting contact with the AIFF and/or its teams while the AIFF is suspended.”

Regarding the U17 Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on October 11, the statement said: “FIFA is evaluating the next steps regarding the tournament and will refer the matter to the Council Bureau as and when necessary.

“FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome of the case can still be reached.”

In a statement published on the AIFF website, the committee responsible for running the AIFF – the Committee of Administrators (CoA) – expressed its “surprise and disappointment” at FIFA’s decision to close the federation. suspend.

“It is a shame to see such a directive from FIFA at a time when every effort was being made to get Indian football back on track,” said CoA chairman Justice (Retd) Anil Dave. That said, we are in constant dialogue with all stakeholders, including FIFA, to find the right solution to this situation and get the ball rolling again.

“It’s really unfortunate that almost [the] for the past two years the body, whose term of office had already expired, had continued in an absolutely undemocratic and illegal manner, no action was taken. But when the Hon’ble Supreme Court issued an injunction to straighten things out so that a democratically elected body would take charge, and when the CoA and the Department of Sports did their best to implement the Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the suspension order has been passed by FIFA.”

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