India and SAFF members exit Saudi-led SWAFF

The move comes on the eve of the Asian Football Confederation Congress which is to be held in Kuala Lumpur on October 31.

Subrata Dutta (second from left) was elected as vice president of the SWAFF in August.   -  [email protected] @officialSWAFF

In an informal meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, India, along with six other members of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), has decided to pull out of the Saudi Arabia-led South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF) with immediate effect.

The move comes on the eve of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress which is to be held in Kuala Lumpur on October 31.

“An informal meeting was held with the SAFF members this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur and there was a verbal instruction from the AFC that SAFF members shouldn't be a part of SWAFF any more,” a source privy to the development, on the condition of anonymity, told Sportstar.

It is learnt that SWAFF president, Adel Ezzat, has expressed his desire to contest for the AFC presidency next year and this has antagonised the AFC. SWAFF was formed in August this year and consists of 14 members, and is essentially a combination of members of SAFF and the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF). AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta was appointed as the first vice-president of the body in the first general body assembly.

SAFF to get AFC recognition

Tuesday's Congress could be a fillip to Indian football. “The SAFF is likely to get AFC recognition in tomorrow's Congress. This would ensure that SAFF members get grants from the AFC and FIFA as well,” added the source.