It is a huge setback for Indian football as the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect. This harsh decision of FIFA came on August 16, Tuesday. The suspension came due to undue third-party interference in AIFF which is a violation of FIFA’s statutes. Due to this ban, the future of football in India has came into darkness. India was all set to host the women’s under-17 World Cup in October but due to this ban, the tournament will not be held in India and no Indian team can participate in international competitions or friendlies.
FIFA announced its decision to ban AIFF on its official website. Here is the official statement by FIFA:
“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.”
When the suspension will be lifted?
FIFA also states the conditions that it want to be fulfilled so that the ban will end.
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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.
The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022™, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in India as planned. FIFA is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary. FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 16, 2022
This is not the first instance when FIFA has banned a nation owing to third-party interference.
FIFA banned Iraq after the country’s government dissolved their National Olympic Committee and national sport federations. The ban was removed just a days later when FIFA received a letter from Baghdad confirming that the Iraqi Football Association was exempt from the dissolution decree.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) decided to sack the executive committee after nation’s poor performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A Nigerian court ordered a civil servant to run the Federation. Owing to this, FIFA immediately suspended the NFF on July 9, 2014. The NFF, though was reinstated within 9 days after the court order was revoked.
In October 2016, Guatemala was suspended by FIFA.
In October 2015, FIFA suspended Kuwait from regional, continental and international football after the country’s government interference in the work of the football associations present in the country.
FIFA suspended Indonesia after the government had essentially taken charge of the footballing affairs. The ban was lifted two years later. Indonesia missed out on the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign as a consequence.
In October 2017, neighboring country Pakistan was banned by FIFA due to “undue third-party interference.”