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In the wake of the upcoming U-17 Women’s World Cup in Oct 2022, which was about to happen in India, but FIFA's recent suspension of the All India Football Federation stripped India from its hosting right. For the first time in the 85-year-old history of the All Indian Football Federation, that it is banned by FIFA.
Now Indian Football Team of both genders is barred from taking participation in any international football game, including Asian Football Confederation Cup.
Reasons FIFA Ban All India Football Federation (AIFF) –
The bureau of the FIFA council has decided to suspend AIFF immediately due to third-party influence over the Indian football federation, which is a serious violation of the FIFA statutes.
According to FIFA statutes, members of the Football Federations of any country should be free from any legal and political interference of their respective countries.
FIFA ban the India after Supreme Court removed the president of AIFF Praful Patel on 18 May for not holding the elections due in Dec 2020.
After that Court appointed a three-member Committee of Administration (CoA) chaired by ex-SC judge AR Dave, to govern the administrative matters of AIFF from now on.
In response to this interference on AIFF, FIFA on 5th August warned AIFF of its suspension, days after the SC directive to the Committee of Administration (CoA) to hold the election of a national federation.
SC in its directive ordered the Committee of Administration (CoA) to conduct the election on 28th August.
The newly appointed Committee of Administration (CoA) will also make the AIFF constitution under the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
SC will hear the matter of the FIFA ban of AIFF on 17th August.
What is the Impact of this Ban on the Indian Football Team –
FIFA ban means that Indian Football teams of both genders will no longer take part in any International tournaments and even Asian Football Confederation Cup.
They will not play in any international club tournaments as long as the ban is active.
They will not receive any financial grant assistance from FIFA OR AFC during this ban period.
Most Importantly Women’s U-17 World Cup, scheduled to take place in India on 11- 30 October, currently cannot be held in India as planned.
Although FIFA is in constant contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India, and hopeful for a positive outcome.
FIFA Statement Regarding Suspension of All India Football Federation (AIFF) –
FIFA released its statement on its official website – FIFA.com
In their statement, they clearly mention that the ban will be lifted once the AIFF will get its sole administrative rights back.
FIFA official statement-
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.
The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.
Former Indian Football Players' Reactions –
Many former Indian football players gave their responses to the ongoing FIFA ban. They are not happy with the ban.
Former Indian Football Team captain Bhaichung Bhutia said –
"Very unfortunate that FIFA has banned Indian football and at the same time I feel it's a very harsh decision of FIFA to ban Indian football,"
"But at the same time, I feel it's a great opportunity for us to get our system right. It's very important that all the stakeholders -- the federation, the state associations, to come together and get the system right and everybody work for the betterment of Indian football,"
Former Dhyanchand Awardee Shabbir Ali said –
"Whatever has happened is extremely unfortunate and it is a setback for Indian football.
I am hopeful that the suspension will be lifted sooner than later once the elections are held, which FIFA has categorically mentioned as well,
The U-17 Women's World Cup should be held in India and I am optimistic that things will fall in place and India won't be robbed off the showpiece event,"