Alleging third-party interference in the Indian Football Federation, the International Football Federation (FIFA) has issued an interim ban on the All India Football Federation. As a result, India has lost the right to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup football series. This is the first time in its 85-year history that the All India Football Federation has been banned by FIFA.
In a statement issued by FIFA in this regard, “The FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation with immediate effect due to the undue influence of third parties in serious violation of the laws of the International Football Confederation.
The governing body is a third-party administration, hence the ban will be lifted when the governing body structure is dissolved and all day-to-day administrative control of the Indian Football Federation comes under the elected administrators of the All India Football Federation.
Due to this ban, India has lost the right to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup football series. The series was scheduled to be held from October 11 to 30 across 3 cities in India. FIFA said it is evaluating the next steps regarding the Under-17 World Cup and will refer the matter to the council if necessary.
FIFA also said it is in constant constructive contact with the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Thus, there is hope that a positive result can be reached in this matter.
On May 18, the Supreme Court removed Praful Patel, the president of the All India Football Federation, from that position. The Supreme Court had pointed out that Praful Patel had not taken steps to conduct the election of administrators in December 2020.
The Supreme Court removed Praful Patel from the Executive Committee and completely dissolved the Executive Committee headed by him. The Supreme Court had ordered the formation of a 3-member executive committee under the leadership of former judge A.R. Thave to conduct the elections of the All India Football Federation.
Also, the court ordered that the Women’s World Cup should be held in India and steps should be intensified. Following this, the committee set up a 12-member advisory committee to look into matters related to international football. Following this, a report containing the new rules was also filed in the Supreme Court.
Following this, the Supreme Court said that the election of the All India Football Federation administrators will be held on August 28. It is in this situation that FIFA has banned the All India Football Federation. This is the first time that the All India Football Federation has been banned by FIFA in its 85-year history.
What is the background?
Praful Patel is known to be the main reason behind the FIFA ban on the Indian Football Federation. Praful Patel’s tenure as the president of the Indian Football Federation for the 3rd consecutive time ended in December 2020. However, he refused to step down citing the pending case in the Supreme Court in 2017.
According to the rules, the president of a sports federation can continue for a maximum of 12 years. Against this, a case was filed in the court by former goalkeeper and current BJP leader Kalyan Chaubey. Praful Patel had refused to resign from his post citing this reason.
Why the FIFA intervention?
The Supreme Court had said that representatives of 36 state associations and representatives of 36 famous footballers will vote in the elections to the governing body of the Football Federation of India. The names of Paichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan were also included in the list of players.
Several state football associations protested some of the new rules, including giving 50 percent of voting rights to ex-players. Alleging that these rules are absurd and discriminatory, they wrote a letter to FIFA in this regard.
Following this, FIFA wrote to the Sports Ministry of India saying that the inclusion of individuals in the voting rights of the Indian Football Federation is not acceptable. As a result, FIFA has banned the All India Football Federation.
Impact of ban…
Due to FIFA’s ban, Indian Football Federation representatives and clubs cannot participate in any international football matches. Also members or officials of the confederation are not allowed to attend trainings organized by FIFA and Asian Football Confederation