Global football body FIFA announced on Monday that it would be suspending the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect.
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 suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in the country as planned.
The world football’s governing body is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament. FIFA said it is in constant contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and that it was hopeful that a positive outcome could still be achieved.
India’s highest court disbanded the AIFF in May and appointed a three-member committee to govern the sport, amend the AIFF’s constitution and conduct elections that have been pending for 18 months.
In response, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation sent a team led by AFC general secretary Windsor John to meet Indian football stakeholders and laid down a roadmap for the AIFF to amend its statutes by the end of July and conclude elections at the latest by September 15.
“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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said in a statement.
Earlier this month, an Indian court ordered elections to be held promptly and said the elected committee would be an interim body for a period of three months.
According to FIFA statutes, member federations must be free from legal and political interference in their respective countries. FIFA has previously suspended other national associations over similar concerns.
dh/kb (Reuters, dpa)