The world football’s governing body lifted the suspension on the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on August 25th.
World football’s governing body FIFA has lifted the suspension imposed on the All India Football Federation (AIFF). FIFA revoked the ban after the Supreme Court repealed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that was appointed to run the federation. The SC also handed back the management of the administration to the AIFF. In another decision, the apex court also modified the federation’s election programme as required by the FIFA statutes.
FIFA announced the decision by the Bureau Council late on Friday (26th August), making the tenure of the suspension (11 days) one of the shortest in history. However, this is not the shortest ban imposed on a footballing nation. Here, we take a look at the five shortest bans imposed by FIFA.
5. Chad (2021) – 188 Days
FIFA suspended the Chad Football Federation (CFF) over its government’s interference in running the football federation. Following Chad’s disqualification from the AFCON 2016, the country’s Sports Ministry dissolved the federation in March. This led to FIFA handing Chad a ban in April.
The ban was eventually lifted after six months once the government repealed the national committee it had created to handle the management of the federation and handed powers back to the football federation.
4. Benin (2016) – 31 Days
FIFA slapped a ban on the Benin Football Federation (FBF) on May 11, 2016, after a court intervention in the West African nation blocked the federation’s presidential elections from being held.
A statement from the world football governing body said, “The Benin Football Association (FBF) was suspended with immediate effect due to a recent injunction by a local judicial court which impeded the holding of the due election.”
However, FIFA lifted the ban on June 11 once elections were held.
3. India (2022) – 11 Days
After the Supreme Court of India removed former AIFF president Praful Patel and his executive committee from office for violating the country’s National Sports Code and appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to handle the daily affairs of the federation, it was deemed as ‘third party interference’ by FIFA. As a consequence, FIFA suspended India with immediate effect on August 15.
In Its suspension letter to the federation, the world body laid down its conditions to lift the ban. It said that CoA must be fully repealed and administration handed back to the AIFF. FIFA also asked the federation to hold its elections based on the pre-existing membership structure that allowed only state associations to be part of the electoral college and struck down the eminent footballers’ quota from the electoral college.
Following an application from the Sports Ministry, the apex court disbanded the CoA and also modified the AIFF election pattern as required by FIFA regulations. On August 25th, FIFA revoked the ban. It made an official announcement a day later.
2. Nigeria (2014) – 9 Days
After a round of 16 exit from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) sacked its executive committee. A Nigerian court then handed over the charges of the federation to a civil servant, resulting in third-party interference. FIFA suspended the federation on July 9 for violating its statutes.
However, the ban was lifted after just nine days after the court removed its order and reinstated the federation.
1. Iraq (2008) – 2 Days
In May 2008, FIFA suspended Iraq ahead of the 2010 World Cup qualifier match against Australia. This happened due to the Iraqi government’s interference in domestic operations after they dissolved the National Olympic Committee and disbanded the sports federations.
However, once the global governing body received a letter informing that the Iraqi Football Association was exempt from the dissolved federations, the ban was revoked after just two days. So far, this is the shortest ban by FIFA on a football federation.
It is important to note that Iraq was once again banned in 2009 for a similar interference. This time, the ban lasted for a year before the nation was reinstated.