Indian soccer in disarray as FIFA suspends federation

New Delhi, Aug 16 (EFE).- FIFA’s decision to suspend the All India Football Federation due to “undue influence from third parties,” has triggered uncertainty for the sport in the country, which was preparing to host the 2022 Under-17 Women’s World Cup.

Since May, the AIFF has faced intervention by the Indian Supreme Court, which appointed a three-member committee to govern the federation until it holds internal elections and amends its constitution in accordance with Indian laws.

This roadmap has witnessed multiple delays due to judicial intervention despite warnings by the FIFA, although the AIFF was finally preparing to hold elections next week.

“The only thing that needs to happen right now is for the elections to happen and a new body to sit in,” the director of an Indian Super League club told EFE on the condition of anonymity.

“It is not a ban, it’s a suspension, so we need to see how our federation and government reacts,” he said, expressing hope that the decision would be reversed soon.

The FIFA had suspended the AIFF on Monday evening “with immediate effect.”

“The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” the world soccer body said in its statement.

This means that the Under-17 Women’s World Cup, set to be held between Oct. 11-30, would not be organized in India as per schedule, although FIFA said that it was “hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved.”

The AIFF is currently governed by a committee of administrators named by the Supreme Court, consisting of a retired judge of the top court, an election commissioner and a former captain of the Indian soccer team.

The federation’s 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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