The international governing body FIFA suspended India on Tuesday for “undue influence from third parties” and robbed the country of the privilege to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in October. FIFA has banned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the first time in its 85-year history.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect owing to excessive influence from third parties,” FIFA stated in a statement.
“The suspension will be removed whenever an order to form a committee of administrators to take over the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee is revoked and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily operations.” On May 18, the Supreme Court removed Praful Patel as AIFF president for failing to organise elections scheduled in December 2020 and established a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to administer the AIFF’s business, led by former top court judge AR Dave. In addition, the CoA has to draught its constitution in accordance with the National Sports Code and model standards.
“The suspension implies that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot presently be hosted in India as planned,” FIFA stated. “FIFA is in continual constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is confident that a favourable solution to the case may still be achieved,” said FIFA of the next stages for the competition.
FIFA threatened to suspend the AIFF and revoke its ability to host the women’s U-17 World Cup on August 5, only days after the Supreme Court’s mandate to hold national federation elections. The Supreme Court on Wednesday, August 3rd, directed the executive committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to hold elections as soon as possible in accordance with the schedule proposed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is currently running the national federation’s affairs. The elections are scheduled for August 28, and the polling process began on August 13, after the Supreme Court authorised the CoA’s timeframe.