Indian soccer federation holds elections following FIFA suspension saga
New Delhi, Sep 2 (EFE).- The All India Soccer Federation on Friday elected a new president, just a month ahead of hosting the 2022 Under-17 Women’s World Cup, thus ending the uncertainty generated by its suspension by FIFA last month, which was later revoked.
Former Indian soccer player Kalyan Chaubey was declared the new president amid music and fireworks that symbolized the end of some difficult weeks for the sport in India, after the FIFA suspended the AIFF in August after a three-month warning period expired.
“It was very sad that the FIFA suspended Indian football and we were all worried, very tense and anxious about how to get it lifted, but now I am very grateful” to the authorities, the organization and the 34 member states who voted in the election, Chaubey told EFE.
The temporary suspension by the world body had cast a shadow on Indian soccer and put the organization of the U-17 girls’ world cup in doubt, which is set to be held in the country between Oct. 11-30.
However, the organizers had not stopped their preparations, being confident of the dispute being resolved despite the short timespan available.
The FIFA suspension had triggered concerns among some Indian players, as the team had not qualified for the tournament and was depending on its automatic spot as the hosts, which they could have lost if the tournament were to be held in a different country.
Earlier in August, 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.
Later, on Aug. 26 FIFA restored the AIFF and brought back cheer in a country which aims to emerge as a power in world soccer.
The AIFF management had 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.
India had already hosted the boys’ Under-17 World Cup in 2017, which England won by beating Spain in the final, while the Indian team ended up losing all of its matches. EFE