The All India Football Federation has been suspended with immediate effect by FIFA, the sport’s governing body. The decision also means that India will be unable to host the 2022 Under-17 Women’s FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in the country from 11 to 30 October 2022.
“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,” FIFA said in the statement.
How will it affect India?
While losing the hosting rights for the U-17 Women’s World Cup is a significant setback, it is not the only one. Even at the age-group level, neither the Indian men’s nor women’s national teams can compete against other national football teams. The decision also disqualifies Indian football clubs from competing in the AFC Women’s Club Championship, AFC Cup, and AFC Champions League.
However, domestic competitions, such as the Indian Super League and the I-League, can continue as planned.
When will the ban be lifted?
In terms of lifting the ban, FIFA has explained the procedure to the AIFF. When the AIFF lieu the FIFA Statutes, the ban will be lifted.
FIFA’s suspension comes after the world football governing body issued several warnings to AIFF. The Supreme Court of India decided earlier this month that 36 state federation members and 36 players would elect an AIFF Executive Committee by August 29 in order to avoid a FIFA ban. However, the proceedings were postponed after FIFA and the Asia Football Confederation (AFC) referred to a letter on August 5, claiming that the court’s decision violates the roadmap agreed upon by FIFA and the Indian football governing body.
According to FIFA statutes, member federations must be free from legal and political interference in their respective countries. FIFA has previously suspended other national associations over similar cases.