Indian soccer body urges FIFA to revoke suspension, announces internal polls

Madrid, 23 ago (EFE).- The All India Football Federation on Tuesday urged the FIFA to “reconsider” its suspension of the Indian soccer body over undue “third party interference,” as it was preparing to hold internal elections on Sep. 7, even as the fate of the U-17 Women’s World Cup hangs in the balance over the hosts’ suspension.

On Monday, the Indian Supreme Court ended the tenure of a committee of administrators (CoA) it had appointed in May to govern the AIFF instead of the latter’s executive committee, a move which triggered the dispute with FIFA.

“It is with immense pleasure that we inform you that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (…) (has passed) directions regarding the full repeal of the CoA mandate and consequently the AIFF having full charge of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” the federation’s acting general secretary Sunando Dhar said in a letter to FIFA, as per a press release.

Dhar urged the world soccer body to “reconsider their decision of suspending the AIFF” so that it can continue with the “smooth running of football in India.”

The AIFF said that it would hold the delayed elections for its executive committee on Sep. 2, after the top court issued an order in this regard on Monday.

The FIFA’s suspension of the Indian federation was based on “third party interference” by the CoA, and left the future of the Under-17 World Cup – set to be held in India between Oct. 11-30 – in limbo,

Although the FIFA said in a statement that it was still hoping for a “positive outcome” and the Indian authorities have not suspended preparations for the event, uncertainty persists among Indian players as the team had not played in the qualifiers for the tournament and could lose their direct spot as the host country.

The AIFF management ended up in the courts as it was not following the National Sports Code, with the top court in 2017 ordering the drafting of a new set of norms to regulate the elections and governance of the soccer body.

On Aug. 3, the Supreme Court had ordered that the internal elections – which have been pending for 18 months – to be held as per a new draft constitution, insisting that the polls could not be delayed further due to the scheduled U-17 World Cup. EFE


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