FIFA banned India
19th Aug, 2022
FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect owing to undue third-party interference in AIFF which is a violation of FIFA's statutes.
What events led to the ban?
- The current set of troubles for Indian football began after the erstwhile AIFF president, Praful Patel, who was also a FIFA council member, refused to relinquish his post as the head of football in the country.
- His excuse for not exiting the stage was the long-drawn out pandemic, coupled with a court case regarding the AIFF constitution.
- But in May, the Supreme Court intervened, and removed Patel from his post.
- The SC also appointed a Committee of Administrators (COA) to run the AIFF.
- The setting up of this COA is where the contentious relationship with FIFA began, which eventually led to the ban.
Third party interference
- FIFA also noted that AIFF had been ordered (by the Supreme Court) to hold elections before the AIFF constitution was finalised, that there would be an interim mandate of three months before the constitution was finalised, and that the defined electoral college would include [former] players.
- FIFA also observed that the CoA would continue to play a role in this interim period.
- All of this, they say, is a "flagrant violation" of their rules against third party interference (by political or judicial machinery of a country).
What are the implications of the suspension?
- No U17 Women's World Cup
- Scheduled to be held across Odisha, Goa and Maharashtra in October this year, the Cup hosting privileges of India have been revoked.
- This tournament was initially meant to be hosted in 2020, but the pandemic had created a delay and subsequent cancellation of that edition.
- Now FIFA say they will continue to assess the next steps.
- National teams and clubs banned from international competition
- The Indian national teams - senior and junior, men's and women's, cannot take part in any AFC or FIFA affiliated matches or tournaments till the suspension is lifted.
- This includes the 2023 Asian Cup and the qualification campaigns for future World and Asian Cups.
- For clubs meanwhile, this means they cannot take part in any of the AFC run continental championships - the AFC Champions League, the AFC Cup, and the AFC Women's Club Championship.
- In fact, Gokulam Kerala are already in Uzbekistan for the latter, which they cannot now participate in.
What happens now?
The Supreme Court will take up the case again soon after the central government of India sought an urgent hearing on the matter post FIFA's suspension of AIFF.