FIFA suspends AIFF, strips India’s hosting rights for U-17 Women’s World Cup
The country will not be able to host the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup as per the current scenario.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been suspended by FIFA, the governing body for football. The possibility that every stakeholder in Indian football had been dreading in the past few months has finally become a reality. Due to the undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes, the apex body has taken stern action with immediate effect.
In an official release, the world football governing body announced the suspension. “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.”
As it stands, India will not be able to host the highly anticipated 2022 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, which was supposed to take place later this year. The statement suggests that the suspension will be lifted once the Committee of Administrators (COA), which had assumed the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee, has been repealed. FIFA demands that the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs at the earliest.
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The release states “suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators (COA) to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.”
A shock to Indian football
As for the fate of the upcoming 2022 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup – “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.”
This comes as a huge setback for Indian football which was gearing up for a new season with the Durand Cup followed by the Indian Super League, the I-League and more. Lack of competence and failure to hold elections had invited FIFA’s intervention. The outcome of the suspension on AIFF will bring all footballing activities in India to a standstill as the game stares at an uncertain future.
Clearly, this needs to be taken as a reminder to change the course of action and quickly draft a constitution for the AIFF. Elections must be held at the earliest so that the players do not lose precious time in their careers due to the shortcomings of the governing body for football in India.
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