Darkness descended on Indian football on the night of 75 years of independence. In the end, the fear came true. The All-India Football Federation was finally exiled (banned) by FIFA! The Women’s Under-17 World Cup to be held in India in October this year has also been postponed. The future of Indian football will depend on the verdict of the Supreme Court today, Wednesday.
Reason for the ban
Football’s world governing body announced the decision to expel the AIFF in an email shortly after 2 am Indian time on Monday. Because, at the moment FIFA sees the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is in charge of managing AIFF, as a ‘third party’. “It is decided to ban AIFF. The move is due to third-party interference in the organization of AIFF. A serious breach of FIFA rules. The ban will be lifted only when the federation’s executive committee takes full responsibility for football management.” said the world governing body of football in a press release.
With FIFA’s sanctions coming down, there are also fears over the future of the Women’s Under-17 World Cup in October. FIFA said in its statement, “Regular communication will be maintained with the Union Ministry of Youth Welfare and Sports. The world football governing body hopes that a positive solution will emerge.” The COA issued a statement on Tuesday saying, “FIFA’s expulsion decision is extremely unfortunate and unintended. It was decided to keep 25 percent footballers in the governing body of the federation in keeping with India’s sports policy.”
The governing body of world football also held a meeting with the Union Ministry of Youth Welfare and Sports on Monday. It was made clear by FIFA that no person can enter the voter list in the federation elections by himself. He should be on the electoral roll as a representative of the state body. The COA wanted to include 36 former footballers (24 men and 12 women) on the electoral roll, which was objected to by world football’s governing body.
The COA, however, did not heed any of FIFA’s suggestions. It was after this meeting that the Union Sports Ministry wrote a letter to the COA about FIFA’s position and their advice on the federation’s election. Within a few hours, darkness descended on Indian football. The central government has stepped in to deal with the situation. On Tuesday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appealed to the bench of Justice D Y. Chandrachud of the Supreme Court for a speedy hearing of the case related to the Federation. However, the hearing of the case before the bench of Justice D Y. Chandrachud was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Following the Centre’s plea, this bench will hear the federation’s case first. According to informed sources, since the Women’s Under-17 World Cup is ahead, with which the honor of the country is linked, the highest court of the country can take a tough decision given the FIFA expulsion and the central government’s application.