FIFA ban on All India Football Federation – a timeline of details as we deep-dive into each and every aspect of the unfortunate and unwanting situation.
The Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) had banned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on August 16, 2022, citing ‘third party’ intervention. The India Football ban came as a shock to the majority of Indians, but the people who follow the sport knew that it was bound to happen, looking at the prior warnings given by FIFA.
The proud nation celebrating its 75th Independence day was embarrassed and disheartened by the announcement. Everyone wanted to know about what led to this shocking move by FIFA. It doesn’t happen often that FIFA bans a nation. Surprisingly, India are just the 8th nation ever to face the ban.
So, was it FIFAs mistake or lag on AIFF’s part? what is the next course of action? What will happen to Women’s World Cup, and what is the current scenario? We will explain all these queries in this article, and take a look at all the details that led to the unfortunate ban.
Former AIFF chief, Praful Patel who had served 12 years (3 terms) as the President of AIFF was not willing to step down from the post even after serving the maximum allowed period on the post. According to the National Sports Development Code of India, no one can hold the top post in a federation for more than 3 terms.
Due to this, the Honorable Supreme Court had to intervene, and that pushed Patel out from the committee. They formed a Committee of Administration (CoA) in May 2022 to overlook the functioning of AIFF going forward. This was to streamline the working and avoid any sanctions in the future. The responsibilities of the CoA were:-
- Manage Day to Day activities of AIFF
- Form a new Constitution for AIFF
- Conducting fresh elections for the body.
This update was given to FIFA. The 12-member advisory committee was given a deadline of July 31st to complete the new constitution. By any means, they had to conduct the election by end of September.
The final draft of the constitution was prepared by the committee, and presented to the Supreme court on 16th July. But the state unit of AIFF wasn’t quite happy with the final draft, and wanted certain changes in it. They also wrote a letter to FIFA stating the final draft prepared by CoA as discriminatory and illogical.
The Supreme court then intervened and asked the state bodies and CoA to rectify the draft and present the draft with final changes by 28th July 2022. The major change as suggested by FIFA was to bring down the percentage of eminent player representation in the Executive committee to 25% from 50% in the current draft.
After Supreme Court changed the hearing date twice, 3rd August was kept as the final date keeping the U-17 Women’s WC in mind. The Supreme court said that they cannot finalize the entire committee, but can issue directions for the elections and passed the orders to AIFF to conclude the elections expeditiously.
A bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that the election results shall be declared by August 28/29. Praful Patel kept on intervening in the proceedings, and tried to influence the committee by personally meeting 6 out of 35 members personally.
On August 6th, FIFA threatened AIFF with suspensions, and to strip-off its right to host U-17 Women’s WC. CoA then moved to Supreme Court against Praful Patel for ‘Contempt of court’. They accused him of ‘Interfering with the administration of Justice’. Meanwhile, there was friction of ideas between FIFA and AIFF over the number of appointed co-opted members.
AIFF suggested 36 representations from state football associations. Another 36 representations of eminent football players in the Electoral College of AIFF. But FIFA was adamant that it was against their statutes. This majorly led to the ban of AIFF by FIFA on 16th August 2022.
What did AIFF do after the ban?
The Supreme Court on 22nd August terminated the CoA, and handed over the day-to-day responsibilities to the federation. As the reports states, hours before the FIFA ban, the CoA had agreed to hold AIFF’s elections without giving voting rights to ’eminent’ players as per the world body’s wish. So, this kept the hopes alive that if the Supreme court accepts the new draft, the ban can be lifted shortly.
26th August 2022
The good news for the entire nation came on 26th August 2022. FIFA lifted the ban imposed on the All India Football Federtation with immediate effect. They said AFC and FIFA shall continue to monitor the situation, and will support the AIFF in organizing its elections in a timely manner”.
Now this means that all the major Indian Footballing events shall happen as per the schedule. The major upcoming events in Indian football are:
- U-17 Women’s World Cup India – 11 to 27th Oct, 2022.
- Mohan Bagan to play in AFC Cup
- AFC Asian Cup 2023 for India Men’s team
AIFF’s Current Status:
The election for AIFF was held on 2nd September 2022 at the AIFF Headquarters in New Delhi. Kalyan Chaubey, a former Indian Goalkeeper who has won the best goalkeeper award twice by AIFF won by 33-1 score against the Indian football legend Baichung Bhutia.
He will now replace Praful Patel as the new President of AIFF. Karnataka’s N A Haris, a sitting Congress MLA, won the election for the lone post of vice president. Whereas Arunachal Pradesh’s Kipa Ajay defeated Gopalakrishna Kosaraju of Andhra Pradesh for the treasurer’s post.
The new executive committee comprises of G P Phalguna, Avijit Paul, P Anilkumar, Valanka Natasha Alemao, Maloji Raje Chhatrapati, Menla Ethenpa, Mohan Lal, Arif Ali, K Neibou Sekhose, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Deepak Sharma, Vijay Bali, and Syed Imtiaz Husain. Whereas Bhutia, I M Vijayan, Shabbir Ali, and Climax Lawrence will be in the EC as players’ representatives.
The unfortunate and rather embarrassing situation of the ban occurred due to unwanted intervention and selfish motives of politicians in the sports body. Until this greed for power and chair is pushed out of the sports body, we will continue to struggle at the world level. Also, this not only spoils the quality of execution, but also hampers the nation’s reputation on the world stage.
Thanks for reading! What are your views on the FIFA ban on the All India Football Federation? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Himanshu is an author at Footbalytics. He is a sports freak and Football is his first love. He is a National level football player himself. With the world full of Messi’s, Ronaldo’s and Gerrard’s fans, he is a die hard fan of Iker Casillas.
Though he is a Sales Manager by profession, he would never miss playing football with his mates.