FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect, according to a Monday statement from the world football governing organization.
The decision was “due to undue influence from third parties”; constituting a serious violation of the FIFA statutes, the organization’s governing body said.
The AIFF is in a state of disarray. Long-serving former chief Praful Patel has remained in power beyond the maximum limit of 12 years without new elections. As a result, the AIFF is currently managed by administrators.
Patel, in addition to his role with the AIFF, has held a number of high-profile government positions. He ran Indian football from 2009. In addition, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the German football association (DFB) in 2019.
The process for the August 28 new elections got under way last week after the Indian Supreme Court authorized the administrators’ timetable.
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, which is set to take place in India from October 11–30, would now be unable to go on as scheduled due to the ban. Patel had a big part in India being given the tournament.
The organization that oversees international football is deciding how to proceed with the competition. FIFA stated that it is in continual communication with the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and expressed optimism that a successful outcome is still possible.
India’s top court dissolved the AIFF in May. A three-member committee was established to oversee the sport, modify the AIFF’s charter, and hold elections that had been postponed for 18 months.
“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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said in a statement.
FIFA’s bylaws state that member federations must be free from governmental and political intervention in their home nations. FIFA has previously suspended other national associations over similar concerns. Pakistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe have been suspended this year alone.