"Undue Influence From Third Parties": FIFA Suspends All India Football Federation

With the suspension in effect, the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022, which was scheduled to be held in India on October 30, 2022, now stands cancelled.
"Undue Influence From Third Parties": FIFA Suspends All India Football Federation

In a major blow to football enthusiasts, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to "undue influence" from outside parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.

"The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes," FIFA said in an official statement.

“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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” the statement added.

With the suspension in effect, the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022, which was scheduled to be held in India on October 30, 2022, now stands cancelled.

The AIFF is currently in disarray and is being run by a Committee of Administrators (CoA) after its former chief Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term without fresh elections, which the Supreme Court ruled invalid.

On July 21, 2022, FIFA had also indicated to the administrators that the inaugural of the tournament should be carried out under the democratically elected AFIF.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal is likely to contest for the AIFF elections slated to be held later this month, according to reports.

Sonowal reportedly approached the Assam Football Association regarding a possible nomination for the AIFF polls, however, there is no official confirmation for the same.

It may be mentioned that Sonowal previously served as a Union sports minister for two years from May 2014 before becoming the chief minister of Assam in 2016.

He also served as the president of Assam Olympic Association.

Earlier this month, the apex court had given a go ahead to the CoA to appoint the returning officer for the elections to the Executive Committee of the AIFF on August 28.

The court, in its order, stated that the returning officer will prepare the final list of voters comprising representatives from 36 state associations and 36 representatives of eminent football players -- 24 male and 12 female.

Nomination papers for the same can be filed from August 17-19, while the counting of votes and results will be declared on August 28/29.

Further, there are also reports of a section of former players backing former captain Bhaichung Bhutia for the post of president of AIFF.

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