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FIFA Ban on India

  • 18 Aug 2022
  • 6 min read

Why in News?

Recently, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), suspended the country’s top administrative organization, the All-India Football Federation (AIFF), for undue influence from third parties.

What is FIFA?

  • About:
    • FIFA or the Federation Internationale de Football Association is the highest governing body of football in the world.
    • It is the international governing body of association football, futsal, and beach soccer.
    • FIFA is a non-profit organisation.
    • Founded in 1904, FIFA was launched to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. FIFA now comprises 211 member nations.
    • It is headquartered in Zurich.
  • Objectives:
    • The primary objective of FIFA is to spread football internationally and promoting integrity and fair play.
    • It is responsible for the organization and promotion of international tournaments, including the men’s World Cup, which started in 1930, and the women’s World Cup, which began in 1991.
    • It is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee and is also a member of the International Football Association Board, which is responsible for setting the rules of football.
    • Six Regional confederations affiliated with FIFA:
      • The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body for Asia and Australia.
      • Confederation of African Football (CAF) has 56 members,
      • Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCAF) has 41 members,
      • Confederation Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) is the South American federation with 10 members,
      • Oceania Football Federation (OFC) has 14 members including New Zealand,
      • Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) with 55 members is the governing body for Europe.

What is AIFF?

  • The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) is the organization that manages the game of association football in India.
  • It administers the running of the India national football team and also controls the I-League, India's premier domestic club competition, in addition to various other competitions and teams.
  • The AIFF was founded in 1937, and gained FIFA affiliation in the year 1948, after India's independence in 1947.
  • Currently, it has an office in Dwarka, New Delhi. India was one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.

Why Did FIFA Ban the All-India Football Federation (AIFF)?

  • AIFF’S President's Unwillingness to Vacate His Post:
    • President Praful Patel, also a FIFA council member, refused to relinquish his post as the head of football in the country.
      • He cited the long-drawn-out pandemic, coupled with a court case regarding the AIFF constitution.
  • Third-Party Intervention:
    • Despite the growing concerns about the working of AIFF, the Supreme Court of India intervened and removed Patel from his post.
    • Further, The SC also appointed a Committee of Administrators (COA) to run the AIFF.
    • As per FIFA Statutes, member federations should not be subject to legal and political interference in their respective countries.
      • Third Party Intervention refers to a situation in which a member association of FIFA fails to remain independent, is co-opted, and no longer has control over its organization.
        • In India’s case, the SC’s diktat to the COA to run the AIFF was a textbook case of third-party interference.

What Does the Suspension Mean to India?

  • It means that there would be no international football participation by India, and this applies to all national teams, club teams across all age groups.
  • The suspension also impacts international transfers, as well as any courses or developmental programs that AIFF officials could, or were taking part in.
    • This in effect means a total ban on all football-related activities outside India.
  • However, the league in the country, as well as domestic transfers, can continue.

What Does India have to do to Lift the Ban?

  • According to FIFA, to lift the ban on AIFF, it needs to follow the directives which are as follows:
    • The mandates of the COA would have to be repealed in full.
    • The AIFF administration would need to be completely in charge of its day-to-day running once again.
    • The AIFF constitution is to be revised on the terms of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) policies, and the election is to be held on current AIFF membership structures that are based on state associations only.

Source: IE

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