West Asian countries like Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Qatar are not a part of the said organization.
With football rising in India, AIFF have pulled themselves out of SWAFF (South West Asian Football Federation). India’s apex footballing body convinced its SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) members to leave the Saudi Arabia-led football governing body.
India had five representatives in the primary SWAFF meeting in Riyadh. The delegation consisted of four vice-presidents and general secretary Kushal Das. Moreover, SWAFF had also elected senior vice-president Subrata Dutta as VP.
“SWAFF was originally thought to be a body consisting of all members from West Asia (West Asia Football Federation) and South Asia (South Asian Football Federation). West Asia doesn’t have all its countries involved in SWAFF, so it’s an incomplete organisation. When West Asia itself is divided, there was no point continuing. Initially we didn’t understand the division,” AIFF president Praful Patel told The Times of India. West Asian countries like Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Qatar are not a part of the governing bloc.
Patel, Das, and Dutta are currently in Kuala Lumpur, attending AFC’s meeting where official recognition was given to five regional organisations, including SAFF. Patel told TOI, “The AFC has now taken regional federations under its umbrella and will provide funding. Since SAFF is officially recognised by the AFC, it does not make sense to have other groupings.”
Explaining the move, Kushal Das told TOI, that SAFF had joined SWAFF due to its belief in a football development programme, expecting it to be a boost, which was probably hasty. Das quipped, “but now SAFF countries were unanimous that we should opt out.”