FIFA, the world’s governing body of football, stated on Tuesday that it has decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect. The decision was made unanimously by the FIFA Council Bureau. The decision was made as a result of improper influence from other parties, which is a significant breach of FIFA’s Statutes. “The FIFA Council Bureau unanimously resolved to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect owing to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a major violation of the FIFA Statutes,” according to a FIFA official media statement.
The organisation also stated that the suspension would be removed once an order to form a committee of administrators to take the responsibilities is issued.
“The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in India as planned,” stated the release further.
“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,” stated the release.
What events led to India’s ban from FIFA?
The current set of problems for Indian football began when the former AIFF president, Praful Patel, who was also a FIFA council member, refused to relinquish his position as the country’s head of football. His excuse for not leaving the stage was a protracted pandemic, combined with a court case involving the AIFF constitution.
However, on May 18, the Supreme Court stepped in and removed Patel from his position. The SC also established a Committee of Administrators (COA) to oversee the operation of the AIFF. The contentious relationship with FIFA began with the establishment of this COA, which eventually led to the ban.
What exactly is the ban, and how will it be enforced?
FIFA has currently suspended the AIFF due to “third-party interference.” Third-party interference occurs when a FIFA member association loses its independence, is co-opted, and no longer has control over its organisation. According to FIFA statutes, the SC’s directive to the COA to run the AIFF was a textbook example of third-party interference.
First and foremost, the suspension means no international football — and this applies to all national teams and age groups. It also applies to both men’s and women’s football, as well as all Indian club teams.
The suspension also affects international transfers and any courses or development programmes offered by AIFF officials.