The All India Football Federation (AIFF) was banned by FIFA (International Football Federation) on August 15, 2022, relieving India of its hosting rights for the U17 Women’s World Cup scheduled this year.
The ban, though temporary, will not only affect the U17 WWC but any FIFA competition India organises or is a part of, be it the Indian Super League (ISL), the I-League (domestic) or the AFC Asian Cup next year (international).
Timeline of events:
WHAT THE FIFA STATUTES SAY
“The associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that it is prohibited to take disputes in the association or disputes affecting leagues, members of leagues, clubs, members of clubs, players, officials and other association officials to ordinary courts of law, unless the FIFA regulations or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts of law.”
— FIFA STATUTE ON FEDERATION FUNCTION
But India is not the first country to be subject to a suspension of its Football Federation. Here are 11 other countries which are or were suspended by FIFA in the 21st century.
Pakistan – April 2021, October 2017
FIFA banned the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on two occasions. In October 2017, FIFA suspended the PFF for "undue third-party interference", which was lifted the next year. But the election that followed was not recognised by FIFA.
Ashfaq Hussain Shah was elected as President of the PFF and he briefly threw the normalisation committee out of PFF headquarters – a body imposed by FIFA to ensure its rules were being followed judiciously
This ultimately led to the ban due to the ‘hostile takeover’ – a serious violation of its statutes.
Ban Status: Lifted on July 2022
Zimbabwe – February 2022
Zimbabwe was banned after its government-run Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) refused to relinquish control of the Zimbabwe Football Association and reinstate the federation's leadership.
ZIFA officials were removed from office in November on allegations of corruption.
SRC had intervened in ZIFA’s operation after allegations of sexual harassment of female referees by technical staff and allegations of fraud within the football body.
The SRC was initially given a deadline of January 3 by Fifa to relinquish control of football back to ZIFA, which was not met.
Ban Status: Still Active
Kenya - February 2022
In February 2022, FIFA suspended the Football Kenya Federation (KFK) because of government intervention in the body’s operation, citing ‘third-party interference’ as a violation of its statutes.
Kenya’s Sports ministry disbanded the KFK after allegations of misappropriation of funds and a caretaker committee was appointed in November 2021 – something that went against the rulebook of football’s apex body.
FIFA demanded the reinstatement of the KFK with the old officials with the assurance that the corruption allegations would be looked into. But the government’s failure to comply with the same saw the country get the ban.
Ban Status: Still active
Chad - April 2021
Chad was disqualified from the Africa Cup of Nations after quarrels between the sports ministry and the football federation led the government to set up a new committee to manage the sport by presidential decree.
The government interference led to a ‘third-party intervention’ violation as per the FIFA Statutes leading to the suspension.
However, the ban was lifted later in 2021, after the government restored power to the Chadian Football Federation (FTFA) and revoked its decision to create a national football management committee.
Ban Status: Lifted in October 2021
Benin, May 2016
Fifa suspended the Benin Football Federation (FBF) from global football after the intervention of a judicial body in the country blocked upcoming elections of the Federation.
"The Benin Football Association (FBF) was suspended with immediate effect due to a recent injunction by a local judicial court which impeded the holding of the due election," read the official statement.
Ban Status: Lifted in June 2016
Kuwait October 2015
Kuwait was suspended for the third time, in 2015, after being banned twice before, in 2007 and 2008.
The suspension came following a government bill which (according to FIFA) interfered with the independence of the country’s FA and fell foul of the FIFA statutes.
Two years later, Kuwait adopted a new law in its Parliament, “fully compliant with the FIFA Statutes and requirements”.
Ban Status: Lifted in December 2017
Indonesia, May 2015
The Indonesian government’s meddling in the country’s domestic league led to the ban of the Indonesian Football Association.
A dispute between the PSSI (Football Association of Indonesia) and Indonesia's Sports and Youth Ministry over teams’ eligibility to compete in the Indonesian Super League (ISL) led to the cancellation of the domestic football season and the dissolution of the PSSI.
Indonesia was given until May 29 to resolve the problem but when the deadline passed, FIFA’s executive committee invoked the suspension.
Ban Status: Lifted in May 2016
Guatemala - October 2016
FIFA suspended the Guatemalan Football Federation (FEDEFUT,) in a fight over the powers given to its appointed oversight committee to look into allegations of corruption.
FEDEFUT did not recognise the committee had said in a statement its suspension was due to its federation’s members’ refusal to allow an election for a new executive committee.
Ban Status: Lifted in June 2018
Nigeria – July, 2014
FIFA suspended Nigeria citing government interference in the running of its national federation.
Following Nigeria’s exit from the 2014 World Cup, the country’s high court ruled that its federation would cease to run the national team, handing over the operations to a government civil servant – a clear breach of the FIFA rules.
The federation was eventually reinstated and the ban was lifted within 10 days.
Ban Status: Lifted in July 2014
Iraq – May 2008, November 2009
Fifa suspended Iraq over government interference in the domestic operations of the game by dissolving the national Olympic committee and all sports federations.
But after the global governing body received documentation that the country’s football federation (IFA), was exempt from the disbanded federations, the ban was lifted.
A year later, the IFA was dissolved by the country’s Olympic committee and FIFA suspended the federation for government interference.
“The clubs and representative teams of Iraq are no longer permitted to take part in international matches, whether friendly or competitive,'' FIFA said in a statement. It was lifted a year later.
Ban Status: Lifted in March 2010
Brunei - September 2009
FIFA suspended the Football Association of Brunei (BAFA) due to government interference in its affairs.
"It started with a decision by the Brunei authorities to dissolve BAFA and to replace it with a new federation in December 2008," FIFA said in a statement.
Ban Status: Lifted in May 2011