AIFF CRISIS | Football

FIFA bans AIFF | Sports Ministry requests FIFA, AFC to let Indian football clubs play

Sports Ministry has requested the world football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to allow Indian clubs – Sree Gokulam Kerala FC and ATK Mohun Bagan – to compete in the tournaments as scheduled despite the ban on AIFF. File

Sports Ministry has requested the world football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to allow Indian clubs – Sree Gokulam Kerala FC and ATK Mohun Bagan – to compete in the tournaments as scheduled despite the ban on AIFF. File | Photo Credit: AFP

The Sports Ministry of India has requested the world football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to allow Indian clubs – Sree Gokulam Kerala FC and ATK Mohun Bagan – to compete in the tournaments as scheduled despite the ban on AIFF.

With FIFA suspending the All India Football Federation (AIFF) late on Monday, there was chaos as Gokulam Kerala women’s team had already reached Uzbekistan to participate in their second AFC Women’s Club Championship.

The women’s team is scheduled to compete against a team from Iran on August 23 and one from the host nation on August 26 in Qarshi, while ATK Mohun Bagan is slated to play the AFC Cup 2022 (Inter-Zone semifinals) on September 7 in Bahrain.

The ministry wrote an email to FIFA and AFC, apprising them of the fact that Gokulam Kerala was already in Uzbekistan when FIFA’s suspension of AIFF was announced.

“It has requested FIFA and AFC to therefore consider allowing the team to play in the AFC Women’s Club Championship (West region) in the interest of the young players,” Ministry said in a release.

The ministry said that it has also “reached out to the Indian embassy in Uzbekistan to extend assistance to the team in all possible ways. The ministry is also in constant touch with the Gokulam team’s management.” Following the news of the ban, Gokulam Kerala women’s team president VC Praveen called up the sports ministry with the players standing by his side. The ministry had then promptly taken up the matter with the AFC, which offered the team an extension of 48 hours in Tashkent.

On Monday, FIFA suspended India for “undue influence from third parties” and said the U-17 Women’s World Cup “cannot currently be held in India as planned”.

This is the first time AIFF has been banned by FIFA in its 85-year history, with the apex body saying there have been “flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes”. 

Why did FIFA ban AIFF and what does it mean for India

As per Article 13 of FIFA Statutes, the letter sent by the world football governing body general secretary Fatma Samoura states that “AIFF representatives and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in the international competition until the suspension is lifted.

“This also means that neither the AIFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA and/or the AFC.”

Click here to find out what Indian football assignments are under threat due to this ban.

Other similar FIFA bans


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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 7:01:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/fifa-bans-aiff-sports-ministry-requests-fifa-afc-indian-football-clubs/article65787581.ece