FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to “undue influence from third parties”, world soccer’s governing body said on Monday (August 15).
The suspension also means that the Under-17 women’s World Cup, which was scheduled to take place in India from October 11-30, cannot be held in the country as planned.
India’s highest court had 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 subsequently 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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said in Monday’s statement.
Earlier this month, the Indian court ordered elections to be held promptly and said the elected committee would be an interim body for a period of three months.
The elections of the AIFF, formerly led by FIFA Council member Praful Patel, were to be held by December 2020 but were delayed due to an impasse over amendments to its constitution.
“FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved,” FIFA added.
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 cases.