FIFA bans AIFF: Gokulam Kerala requests PM Modi to intervene after disqualification from AFC Women's Club Championship

Gokulam Kerala won the 2022 Indian Women’s League and is the only Indian club to play in the AFC Women’s Club Championship. (File Photo)

Gokulam Kerala won the 2022 Indian Women’s League and is the only Indian club to play in the AFC Women’s Club Championship. (File Photo) | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Gokulam Kerala has sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting intervention in the AIFF ban case wherein FIFA, the global governing body of the sport suspended the All India Football Federation on Monday.

The Kerala-based club won both the I-League and the Indian Women’s League this year and earned automatic qualification in the AFC Women's Club Championship set to start from August 23, 2022 at Qarshi, Uzbekistan.

But after the ban, it will no longer be able to participate in the competition.

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“Our team reached Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from Kozhikode during the early hours of 16th of August 2022. On arrival, we heard through various media outlets that FIFA has banned AIFF (All India Football Federation),” Ashok Kumar, the CEO of Gokulam Kerala wrote.

Gokulam Kerala was supposed to open its AFC WCC campaign against home side Sogdiana-W in Qarshi, Uzbekistan on August 23 and according to the letter, the team has trained for sixty days from June 18 to August 16 for the same.

But after the ban, the 23-member squad is grounded ‘with disappointment coupled with distress’.

The Asian Football Confederation sent a letter to the All India Football Federation on 16th August, 2022 stating that our club is no longer eligible to take part in the AFC Women’s Club Competition 2022. However, AIFF has not sent any mail or letter to our club anticipating that the ban will be lifted by FIFA within a couple of days.

“In the light of the above, we request PMOs good officers to intervene in this matter and make all efforts to revoke FIFA ban and include us back in the AFC Women’s Club Championship as the champion club of India,” he added.

Gokulam Kerala was the first Indian team to qualify for the AFC Women’s Club Championship and had participated in the previous edition of the tournament last year, finishing third in the four-team event.

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