FIFA bans AIFF: Why has FIFA banned All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) and how will it impact players and fans?

FIFA Bans AIFF: FIFA has banned the All India Football Federation with immediate effect amid the on-going crisis at the nation’s apex football governing body. Know Why has FIFA banned All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) and how will it impact players and fans?

FIFA bans AIFF: All You Need to Know
FIFA bans AIFF: All You Need to Know

FIFA Bans AIFF: FIFA - the apex governing body for football in the world has announced that it has banned AIFF with immediate effect. All India Football Federation (AIFF) is India’s national regulator of the sport and has been in the news recently due to the ongoing crisis. The decision to ban AIFF from FIFA was passed unanimously by the Bureau of the FIFA Council. Giving a justification for its stand against AIFF, FIFA has said that the decision has been taken ‘due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes’.

The official media release issued by FIFA confirming the ban on AIFF read "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.”

The Background

The ban by FIFA on AIFF - All India Football Federation comes following a crisis that has been brewing at the football’s apex regulator in the country for months. On 18th May, the Supreme Court of India ordered the removal of Mr Praful Patel from the post of AIFF president after he failed to hold elections for the football body as per the earlier issued deadline of December 2020. Then, the apex court also appointed a 3-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former top court judge AR Dave, to manage the affairs of the AIFF. The committee was entrusted with the task of drafting the AIFF constitution in accordance with the National Sports Code and model guidelines. It is against this decision of the Supreme Court that FIFA has raised an objection and decided to ban AIFF for "undue influence from third parties".

What will be the impact of the FIFA Ban on Indian Football?

Losing U-17 Women’s World Cup Host Status

One of the biggest and immediate impact of the ban imposed by FIFA on AIFF will be seen on the 2022 Under-17 Women's FIFA World Cup. India is the host of the U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is scheduled to be held from 11th to 30th October 2022. However, following the FIFA ban, India will no longer be able to host the world-level Football tournament, which is a big blow for the country.

National Teams Not Allowed to Play in International Tournaments

Another significant impact of the FIFA ban on AIFF would be neither men’s nor women’s national teams for football will be able to participate in any FIFA tournaments or against national teams of other countries. The ban on the national team from playing football in other countries will continue across age groups and even junior teams will also be disqualified from playing international tournaments.

Indian Football Clubs not allowed to Participate in International Tournaments

The decision of FIFA to impose a ban on India’s apex football governing agency will also put Indian football clubs at risk. No football clubs from India will be able to participate in AFC Women Club Championship, AFC Cup and AFC Champions League competitions.

Indian Football Clubs not allowed to Sign Foreign Players

Furthermore, India and its clubs would also not be able to sign any new foreign players for international or domestic tournaments. Simply put, ISL & I-League clubs cannot sign foreign players; however, there would be no problem for the players already signed by Indian clubs and they will be allowed to play as per the period of their contact. Domestic Football competitions such as the Indian Super League and the I-League will continue to be held as per their original schedule, without any impact.

When and How will FIFA lift the ban against AIFF?

While issuing orders for immediate suspension of India and AIFF from FIFA; the global sporting agency also specified the conditions under which the ban can be lifted. As per the media release, the ban on AIFF will be lifted when the AIFF falls in lieu of the FIFA Statutes. Simply put, it means that the FIFA ban on AIFF will be lifted only after the CoA - Committee of Administrators appointed to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee is dissolved and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs. The media release also says that FIFA is in contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and hopes that a positive outcome of the ongoing discussions.

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