RELATED: FIFA LIFTS BAN ON AIFF
WHY DID FIFA BAN AIFF?
Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) banned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on August 16 citing ‘third party’ intervention.
“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,” read the official statement.
WHAT IS THIRD PARTY INTERVENTION AND HOW DID IT HAPPEN IN AIFF?
Simply put, FIFA sees the court-appointed committee of administrators having a say in the running of Indian football as third party interference.
FIFA says it’s “not a prudent idea” to have equal number of eminent players alongside the state association representatives in the electoral college.
The draft constitution submitted by the CoA to the Supreme Court states the electoral college will have representatives from 36 state associations and 36 eminent football players from all over India — 24 male and 12 female. The world body is okay with the executive committee having 25 per cent former players as Co-opted members.
In fact, on August 6 FIFA had threatened to suspend the AIFF and strip off its rights to host the Women’s U-17 World Cup in October due to a third-party “influence.”
WHAT HAS BEEN THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE FIFA BAN?
- ⦿ Indian senior men’s football team has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, which is yet to have a host nation after China pulled out of hosting the tournament. The draw for the finals is scheduled to take place later this year and if the suspension isn’t reversed in time, India will not be able to take part in the Asian Cup.
- ⦿ India was scheduled to host the U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup in October and as things stand, the tournament can go ahead in the country only if the suspension is lifted.
- ⦿ Gokulam Kerala had qualified for the AFC Women’s Club Championship for a second successive season after winning the Indian Women’s League in May. The Kerala-based side will return home on Monday from Uzbekistan after it was removed from the AFC Women’s Club Championships following the ban.
- ⦿ The 23-member team, led by India captain Ashalata Devi, were left stranded in Tashkent for six days since arriving at the Uzbekistan capital on August 16, the day the news of the ban imposed on the AIFF by the world governing body FIFA reached India.
- ⦿ ATK Mohun Bagan has qualified for the AFC Cup inter-zone playoffs semifinals, scheduled for September 7. But its participation is in doubt.
- ⦿ The boys’ U-17 team’s participation in the 2023 U17 Asian Cup qualifiers is in jeopardy with the matches slated for October.
- ⦿ The suspension will not affect the domestic football calendar and tournaments like the Durand Cup, Indian Super League, I-League and the Super Cup will likely go ahead on schedule. However, these tournaments will not be recognised by FIFA or AFC.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED AFTER THE BAN?
On August 16, the Centre government made an urgent request in the Supreme Court for an early hearing to resolve the issue.
The next day, the Supreme Court postponed the matter to Monday (August 22) on Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s request and requested the Union of India to take proactive measures to ensure holding of the women’s U17 world cup and lifting the suspension on AIFF so the objective is duly achieved.
AIFF ELECTIONS - Bhaichung Bhutia is the most prominent name among the seven applications filed so far for the AIFF president’s post. The other names are Kalyan Chowbey, Manvinder Singh, Shaji Prabhakaran, N.A. Harris, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Valanka Alemao.
What is the central government’s stance?
In a desperate move to get the FIFA ban on AIFF revoked, the central government on Sunday moved an application in the Supreme Court, seeking an end to the “mandate” of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), as demanded by the world governing body.
The sports ministry’s move, a day before a crucial hearing of the top court, can be seen as an attempt to salvage the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, scheduled to be held in October.