FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) effective immediately for undue influence by a third party, the world football ruling body said Monday. The suspension will continue until the Indian Football Federation has completely taken control of its day-to-day affairs, FIFA said in a statement. The 2022 FIFA Women’s World Cup, scheduled for October 30, 2022, was cancelled due to suspension.
Nominations were due to begin on Wednesday until Friday. The Supreme Court, on Aug. 3, directed the executive committee of the All India Football Federation to hold AIFF elections quickly, according to a timeline suggested by CoA. As the Supreme Court heard the case Wednesday, the Indian soccer fraternity hopes that last-minute solutions can save the U-17 Women’s World Cup. On Aug. 5, FIFA, the world soccer’s governing body, threatened to suspend AIFF and deny it its rights to hold the U-17 Women’s World Cup, days after the Supreme Court directed it to conduct national association elections, according to reports.
India was suspended by FIFA, the world football governing body, over the said third-party influence, and has denied the country hosting rights to an Under-17 women’s world cup scheduled to be held in October, reports the Press Trust of India (PTI). While the extension of the term of the previous AIFF chief Praful Patel came under scrutiny from the global football governing body, on Monday, the governing body issued a statement which announced the suspension.
The decision to suspend the All India Football Federation comes even as India’s supreme court has directed the election of the AIFF executive committee to be held swiftly. The suspension letter, signed by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samore, reached the acting secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Sunando Dhar, in the early hours of Tuesday, hours after India celebrated turning 75 years of independence. Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Asabhopanna that important developments had taken place. FIFA had sent the suspension letter to India, which was public knowledge, and needed to be brought to the record.
FIFA and the AFC also sent their team, headed by AFC General Secretary Windsor John, to meet stakeholders in Indian football and to chalk out a roadmap for AIFF to change its constitution before the end of July, culminating with elections on 15 September. FIFA had also informed organisers on July 21, 2022, that the tournament’s opening ceremony was expected to take place under AFIF, which a democratic process had elected.