U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup suffers setback as FIFA suspend Indian football body

by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

  • Bhutia condemns decision

The U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup suffered a setback as the Bureau of the FIFA Council, in a unanimous decision, suspended the Indian football body known as All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect for violating FIFA statutes over undue influence from third parties.

What this means is that India will not be able to participate in international tournaments and this also applies to clubs from the country that will be denied the right to participate in Asian tournaments.

In a statement on Tuesday, August 16, the world football governing body said they will rescind their decision should the order to usurp the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee through the constitution of the committee of administrators is repealed.

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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said.

AIFF, according to reports, has been in a state of chaos after serving former helmsman, Praful Patel, who has stayed in office for about 12 years without holding fresh elections, was removed by the court.

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Following his removal, after the Supreme Court of India disbanded the AIFF, a three-man committee of administrators was tasked to oversee football, amend the AIFF constitution and conduct fresh elections that have been pending for over 18 months.

However, FIFA, aware of what its decision has caused the U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled from October 11 – 30, in India, added that they are assessing the next step to take regarding the hosting of the tournament.

“FIFA is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary,” the world football body added.

Furthermore, FIFA revealed they are in constant contact with India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and hopefully, a positive result will be achieved.

Meanwhile, former Indian international, Bhaichung Bhutia, condemned FIFA’s decision against the Asian country saying it is very harsh.

He said that the directive the stakeholders, including the sports ministry, took which warranted FIFA’s hammer was an opportunity to get India’s football right.

Bhutia noted that it is vital for every stakeholder, federations, state associations, and sports ministry to work together to bring value to Indian football.

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