Fifa, the governing body for world football, has lifted the suspension imposed on the All India Football Federation (AIFF), paving the country’s return to international football and the hosting of Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup later this year.
Fifa had suspended AIFF recently for “undue interference by a third party”, a first for the federation in its 85-year history. As a result of the suspension, the hosting rights of the U-17 Women’s World Cup were set aside. According to a letter from Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura to AIFF’s acting general secretary Sunando Dhar, “The Bureau of the Council decided on 25 August 2022 to lift the suspension of the AIFF with immediate effect. ”
As a consequence, Samoura said in the letter, the U-17 Women’s World Cup, scheduled to take place from October 11 to 30, can be held in India as planned. The decision was communicated to AIFF recently.
“The decision was taken after Fifa received confirmation that the mandate of the committee of administrators, that was set up by the Supreme Court to assume the powers of the AIFF executive committee, had been terminated and that the AIFF administration had regained full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” the governing body for world football said in a statement.
Fifa has reminded India that it now needs to fulfil more conditions to ensure that the federation does not get suspended again. First, the AIFF constitution needs to be revised in accordance with the requirements of Fifa and the AFC.
Second, the federation needs to carry out the upcoming electoral process as per the statutory requirement, which includes voting rights only to state associations.
The Supreme Court had removed voting rights previously given to 36 eminent players and confirmed that only state association representatives will form the electoral college and elect the next AIFF president.
“As foreseen in the decision of the Bureau of 14 August 2022, a further communication to the AIFF will follow shortly with respect to the next steps to be taken towards holding elections. Fifa and the AFC will continue to monitor the situation and will support the AIFF in organising the elections in a timely manner,” the Fifa secretary general said.