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FIFA Sanctions India, What Incidents Caused the Ban?

Why did FIFA wait to impose a suspension on India after the COA was given control of the AIFF?


Threats against Indian football became a reality when FIFA, the world governing body of the game, suspended the All India Football Federation for “undue influence from third parties.” The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which was slated to take place from October 11–30, 2022, was also revoked by the FIFA council’s Bureau along with the ruling.

"FIFA sanctions India, What incidents caused the ban?"
FIFA sanctions India, What incidents caused the ban?

FIFA claimed in its statement that it was in contact with the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. If certain requirements were completed, there was a glimmer of optimism that the ban might only last a short time. But how did things end up in this situation?

FIFA sanctions India What incidents caused the ban?

The current wave of issues for Indian football started when the former AIFF president and FIFA council member Praful Patel refused to resign from his position as the nation’s football administrator. His justification for remaining on stage was the protracted pandemic and a legal dispute involving the AIFF constitution.

But on May 18, the Supreme Court took action and dismissed Patel. A Committee of Administrators (COA) was also chosen by the SC to oversee the AIFF. The tense relationship with FIFA that eventually resulted in the ban started with the establishment of this COA.


How will the ban operate and what is it?

FIFA has currently suspended the AIFF because of “third-party meddling.” Third-party intervention is when a FIFA member association loses control of its organization, is co-opted, and is unable to maintain its independence. According to FIFA rules, the SC’s directive to the COA to manage the AIFF in this instance was a textbook example of third-party intervention.

First and foremost, the suspension entails a suspension of all international football for all national teams and age divisions. It also applies to all club teams in India and to both men’s and women’s football.


Additionally, the suspension affects any foreign transfers and any courses or professional development programs that AIFF officials would have been enrolled in. This effectively means that no football-related events can be held outside of India. However, local transactions and the national league can both go on.

But why did FIFA wait to impose a suspension on India after the COA was given control of the AIFF?


FIFA initially assessed the situation under the assumption that the COA would not significantly alter the AIFF constitution. This was what the COA itself led it to believe.

The executive committee of the AIFF, the democratically elected body among state associations that manages AIFF’s affairs, as well as how the executive committee would be formed and who could vote or be voted for in its formation, were altered by the court-appointed administrators, it was discovered when the first draft of the constitution was made public.

The executive committee would include 50% of “eminent players,” for example. As a result, 35 famous actors with voting rights would now have to compete with 35 state groups with voting rights. This was against FIFA regulations, and even though the international governing body agreed to 25% player representation on the committee, no official modifications were made.

Second, the COA changed the language defining the top league in India, defining how relegation and promotion would operate, and specifying that the AIFF would be in charge of administering the top league alone.

This might have reignited the long-running conflict over whether the Indian Super League or the I-League should receive the top promotion in India. The protracted conflict came to a conclusion in 2018 at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur when the ISL was elevated to the status of India’s top league and the I-League was relegated to the second tier.

FIFA initially refrained from issuing the ban, but these modifications to the way the AIFF operated without the presence of an executive committee to confirm or contest these choices were viewed as an outside influence by the global governing body of football.

Which FIFA wants?

FIFA has said that two key issues must be resolved before the ban can be lifted in a letter to the AIFF’s interim general secretary. The COA’s mandate would need to be completely removed first. Second, the day-to-day management of the AIFF would have to be taken back into full control by the government.

The AIFF election should be held using the current AIFF membership structures, which are solely based on state associations, FIFA further noted in the letter that it wants the AIFF constitution updated in accordance with FIFA and the AFC’s standards.

What should we do going forward?

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hold a hearing (August 17). In essence, it will pit FIFA’s wishes against the SC’s verdict. FIFA, a group that has in the past suspended nations for much less severe outside influence, will insist that all of its requests be completed in order for the suspension to be lifted. There will need to be an agreement on these problems, either in court or at a later time.

What effects will the prohibition have right away?

A Gokulam It’s possible that Kerala’s women’s team, which is now making its way to Qarshi, Uzbekistan for the AFC Women’s Club Championship, won’t be able to take part in it. The AFC Cup team ATK Mohun Bagan may not be eligible to participate in Asia’s second-tier club competition. India’s chances of being drawn for the AFC Asian Cup are uncertain. Additionally uncertain is the junior national team’s participation in the AFC Cup trials.

However, the most significant news is that India will no longer host the U-17 Women’s World Cup, according to FIFA. The event was just declared by the federal government, and tickets were already on sale. If the restriction is overturned quickly enough, the harm could be reversed. But for the time being, everything depends on how things develop and who gives ground.

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