The whole Indian footballing fraternity was rocked when the international body FIFA banned AIFF with immediate effect. It cited “undue influence from third parties” as the reason for the said ban.
Notably, the AIFF had suspended the mandatory presidential election in favour of Praful Patel continuing into his third term. Due to inconsistency and non-abidance of rules, FIFA had to intervene and suspend the board altogether.
The suspension has had a domino effect on Indian football with the hosting rights for the upcoming Women’s Under-19 World Cup having been snatched from India. In another unfortunate news for the football fans in the country, India men’s upcoming friendlies against Vietnam and Singapore have been cancelled.
The football board of Vietnam cancelled the friendly against India as it did not want to deal with the uncertainty around AIFF’s situation amidst the ban. The ban has not only affected the national team but also other club teams, who now have to forgo their upcoming matches with teams from outside the country.
Gokulam Kerala had earlier confirmed that they would be returning to the country after the Indian club was removed from the AFC Women’s Club Championship following the FIFA ban. The 23-member team captained by Ashalata Devi was left stranded in Tashkent for five days as the news of India being outed from FIFA emerged.
The Indian football body has come up with different solutions in order to get the playing rights back. A week ago the AIFF made a suggestion to Supreme Court that the CoA (Committee of Administrators) should be abolished. Notably, the FIFA ban came as a result of the Government appointing a CoA to oversee Indian football, not due to the overstay of the AIFF president.
Earlier Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, told Supreme Court, “Suspension of AIFF is disastrous for the entire nation and all football players”. Indian football has been going through a disastrous phase as the national team’s ranking keeps on declining after Indian football’s budget was reduced to Rs 5 Crore.