Indian football once again finds itself in muddled waters. And this time there is undoubtedly no escape for them as the international governing body of Football, FIFA, imposes a sanction on them.
On the 15th of August, as the entire nation rejoiced in the glory of celebrating 76th Independence Day, FIFA handed AIFF a ban for violation of the code of conduct.
FIFA bans India
According to a statement by FIFA, the decision was taken due to “undue influence from third parties” on Indian football. This is considered a “serious violation” of FIFA status. The suspension shall be lifted once the AIFF can set up a committee for themselves.
The suspension was brought upon the All-India Football Federation following a supreme court order. At the beginning of the month, the AIFF was fighting a case in the supreme court.
Supreme Court’s sanction on AIFF
Earlier this year, on May 18th, it was brought to the Supreme Court’s notice that AIFF had failed to hold their presidential elections in December 2020. As a result, Praful Patel was still serving as the AIFF president.
In August 2022, the court ruled against the AIFF. Calling out that their decision not to conduct the presidential election violated the National Sports Code and guidelines. Henceforth, they were stripped of their command of Indian football. Instead, the Committee of Administrators was assigned to look after the affairs of AIFF.
Now, this is where FIFA comes in. According to their guidelines, no other committee can look after the affairs of a footballing nation apart from their governing body. And since the Supreme Court suspended AIFF, FIFA decided to ban India.
This has not only automatically banned all men’s and women’s teams from participating in competitions. But also stripped India of the rights to host the U17 Women’s World Cup. The marquee tournament was supposed to take place in October this year.
However, there is a silver lining to everything. Supreme court, in its judgement, had asked AIFF to conduct its election by the end of August. If they are successful in doing so, maybe India won’t have to give up the hosting rights of the competition.
The polls for the presidential elections are said to have begun on the 13th of August. And the election’s final result is likely to be announced by the 28th of this month.