Bad News for Indian football Fans
- August 17, 2022
The apex authority governing global football has banned AIFF. It means that our country can neither be part of competitions nor can host any matches. Owing to disproportionate pressure from 3rd parties FIFA froze the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Additionally, the nation lost the opportunity to stage the October 2022 Under-17 Women’s World Cup. According to a report published by FIFA, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) would be suspended immediately as a result of coercion from outside parties, which is a significant breach of the FIFA Regulations. In the 85 years of its existence, FIFA has never before punished the AIFF. Let us just examine what led to the punishment and what the consequences will be.
Why was AIFF suspended by FIFA?
Since the Supreme Court removed Praful Patel as head of the AIFF on May 18 for failing to conduct voting that was attributable in December 2020 and assigned a three-member Council of Admins (CoA), led by an erstwhile top court judge named AR Dave, to run the organization’s proceedings, the threat of a FIFA ban has hung over the organization. The CoA was also required to draught the AIFF legislation per regulations and the National Sports Code. Under FIFA Conventions, membership factions must not be the target of governmental or political meddling in their home nations.
FIFA did not outlaw India despite the SC’s meddling; rather, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent a joint task force to observe the state of Indian football. On June 23, the probe’s 3-day stay concluded. According to its findings, the AIFF Statutes should be ratified following the FIFA/AFC codes of ethical administration and an Elective Convention should be held to select the next AIFF head. The Supreme Court received a draught of the AIFF’s charter from the CoA on July 16. The AIFF’s executive board and election system for eminent players were each guaranteed 36% (50%) participation under the rules. Certain draught constitutional provisions were opposed by the state units, and the issue was brought before the SC.
FIFA deemed the move as unwise to include an adequate proportion of illustrious athletes and state organization delegates in the election system. Additionally, it stated that they were happy with 25% of ex-players serving on the executive council as Co-opted representatives. The SC issued a preliminary direction on August 3 directing AIFF to hold its poll as soon as feasible and publicize the results by August 28 or 29. The creation of an electorate comprised of 36 members from state sports federations and 36 notable retired players was also accepted.
Due to “intervention” from a third party, FIFA warned to expel the AIFF on August 6.
The Indian sports ministry notified by once against FIFA on August 15 that they are opposed to individual people being included in the election process for the forthcoming AIFF polls. According to FIFA, each voter in the voting process should represent a different regional organization or other institution. FIFA formally terminated AIFF on August 16th, citing overriding effect by 3rd parties, which is a significant breach of the FIFA Code with instant implication.
Organizing the Football world cup for U-17 Women
India cannot host the upcoming World Championship because it is a restricted participant. The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, which was supposed to be hosted in India from October 11–30, 2022, cannot presently be staged as anticipated due to the ban. FIFA is determining the event’s future measures and, if and whenever required, will bring the issue to the Commission. Still, India might serve as the World Series venue if the blockade is repealed in the period for the competition.
What time and how will the restriction be removed?
FIFA noted that the restriction would be withdrawn once the decision to convene directors to exercise the authority of the AIFF Executive Panel had been revoked and the AIFF management had fully reclaimed authority over the organization’s day-to-day operations. In other words, the ban will be removed as soon as AIFF complies fully with the FIFA Laws.
How will Indian Football be affected by the suspension?
The FIFA ban will affect the Indian game in several different ways. In addition to missing the chance to organize the U-17 Women’s World Cup, the top clubs won’t be allowed to participate in big tournaments. Even Indian teams won’t be permitted to compete in international competitions. The men’s squad was going to play Vietnam and Singapore next month, but both games are already in doubt. Next month’s SAFF Women’s Championship is out of the question for the main women’s team, while the AFC Women’s Club Championship for Gokulam Kerala FC scheduled for next week will not happen.
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