FIFA suspends All India Football Federation

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The world football governing body, FIFA, has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) from all football activities due to external influences from third parties in the country.

India is now set to lose out on hosting the Under-17 Women’s World Cup slated for October 2022 due to the suspension.

Earlier this year, The Supreme Court of India appointed a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to govern the operations of footballing activities in the country, a move that was rejected by delegates from both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

According to reports, senior officials of AIFF refused to work with the appointed committee members, citing reasons such as interference which is against FIFA statutes.

The FIFA-AFC joint delegation was anchored by AFC general secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John followed by three others from the confederation; deputy general secretary Vahid Kardany, head of South Asia unit Purushottam Kattel and senior manager of the Central Asia unit Yogesh Desai.

History of All India Football Federation

History of All India Football Federation

Before the formation of the AIFF, The Indian Football Association (IFA) was the overseeing body for football in India. IFA was founded in 1893 and was primarily run by Englishmen in the 20th century.

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF), was formed in 1937 when representatives of football associations of six regions met at the Army Headquarters, Simla. The six regions which attended the historic meeting were Indian Football Association (IFA), Army Sports Control Board (ASCB), United Provinces, Bihar, North West India Football Association, and Delhi.

One of the founding members of the AFC, AIFF is under the jurisdiction of the Government of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

FIFA Statutes

FIFA statutes or the Statutes of FIFA are a set of regulations and guidelines that govern the implementation of the constitution of FIFA.

“The associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that it is prohibited to take disputes in the association or disputes affecting leagues, members of leagues, clubs, members of clubs, players, officials, and other association officials to ordinary courts of law unless the FIFA regulations or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts of law.”

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FIFA Media release on suspension of AIFF

This is not the first ban dished out by FIFA for interference. In 2014, after The Super Eagles of Nigeria was knocked out of the World Cup, FIFA suspended Nigeria due to government interference in the running of The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Then, the Supreme court of Nigeria ruled that the NFF would have to stop running the national team and hand over day to day operations to a group of government workers or civil servants, a violation of the Statutes of FIFA.

As FIFA suspended AIFF, there are some other countries in recent times to incur the wrath of FIFA due to interference and statute violations. They include Pakistan- 2017 & 2021, Kuwait- 2015, Indonesia- 2015, Iraq- 2008 & 2009, and Brunei- 2009.

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