A week after FIFA banned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) over “third party” (Committee of Administrators – CoA) influence, the Supreme Court on Monday (August 22) dissolved the CoA and handed back the day-to-day management of the AIFF to the federation’s administration led by the acting General Secretary Sunando Dhar.
The Supreme Court verdict should pave the way for FIFA to lift the ban on AIFF and reinstate India as the host of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 to be held in October.
Also, the apex court modified the election programme of the AIFF and extended the polling date of August 28 by one week.
The court said that the voter list should consist of 36 representatives of State/UT member associations of the federation, and the Executive Committee of AIFF will consist of 23 members, including six eminent players of which two will be women.
Also read: Explained: Why FIFA banned AIFF and what it means to Indian football
On May 18, the Supreme Court removed AIFF president Praful Patel and appointed a three-member CoA to run the AIFF.
The CoA is comprised of Justice (retired) Anil R Dave, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. SY Quraishi and former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly. On July 15, the CoA framed the draft constitution and submitted it to the Supreme Court for its approval.
Why FIFA banned AIFF
On August 15, as India celebrated its 76th Independence Day, the same day, football’s world governing body FIFA suspended the AIFF with immediate effect “due to undue influence from third parties”.
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For the first time since AIFF was formed in 1937, the Indian football body faced suspension from FIFA.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes,” FIFA said.
“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once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” it added.
The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India from October 11, cannot currently be held in India as planned, FIFA further stated.