FIFA’s suspension of Mali leads to India colts leaving for Europe early

The India colts were to play the African country in Mumbai on April 6 and 9, but now, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided that the team would leave for its European tour a little early.

The Indian under-17 football team is likely to leave for its European tour earlier than scheduled, after its two friendlies against Mali were called off on Friday.

The Indian under-17 football team is likely to leave for its European tour earlier than scheduled, after its two friendlies against Mali were called off on Friday. The decision came after FIFA suspended the Mali football federation from international football, citing government interference in the running of the association.

The India colts were to play the African country in Mumbai on April 6 and 9, but now, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided that the team would play a few extra games in Europe. “The matches stand cancelled. We can’t play against a team that has been suspended by the world body. The matches were organised with the help of the Indian government. But now, we have decided to leave for our European tour early, and play a few extra matches there,” the AIFF secretary Kushal Das told Sportstar on Friday.

Mali’s World Cup qualifying program, however, will not be immediately affected. Its next match is on August 28 against Morocco.

FIFA, in a statement, stated it had acted after Mali’s sports minister “decided to dissolve the executive committee” of the national soccer federation.

FIFA rules protect the independence of elected soccer officials from political intervention. It will lift the suspension “once ministerial decisions are nullified and the executive committee of FEMAFOOT (Federation Malienne de Football) and its president, Boubacar Baba Diarra, is reinstated.”