Football’s world governing body Fifa on Friday announced that it was lifting the suspension on the All India Football Federation after being satisfied that its demands were met in the Supreme Court order on August 22.
Fifa had imposed the suspension on the Indian federation on August 14, deeming there had been ‘third party interference’ in the national body’s affairs after the Supreme Court appointed a Committee of Administrators to handle the AIFF until a constitution and elections were in place.
The immediate impact of the suspension - that isolated India from the footballing world - was that Gokulam Kerala was not allowed to compete in the AFC Women’s Club Championship despite the team already being in Uzbekistan for the competition. In the long term, the country would not be allowed to host the U17 Women’s World Cup.
Fifa made it clear that the suspension would be lifted if the CoA and its mandate were dissolved and the AIFF was put back in charge of its own affairs.
“The Bureau of the Fifa Council has decided to lift the suspension that was imposed on the All India Football Federation due to undue third-party influence,” Fifa said in a statement.
“The decision was taken after Fifa received confirmation that the mandate of the committee of administrators that was set up 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. Fifa and the AFC will continue to monitor the situation and will support the AIFF in organising its elections in a timely manner.
“As a consequence, the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to take place on 11-30 October 2022 will be held in India as planned.”
The Indian team has been drawn into Group A of the contest with the United States, Morocco and Brazil.
The hosts will play all their matches at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, starting with the opener against the Americans on October 11, followed by matches against Morocco and Brazil on October 14, and October 17.
The AIFF, on Saturday published a statement as well, welcoming the lifting of the suspension, but also apologising to Gokulam Kerala.
“Indian Football is back on track once again after Fifa lifted its suspension on AIFF. While we are happy with the turn of events, we are also extremely sorry for the loss that Gokulam Kerala have suffered after their exit from the AFC Women’s Club Championship because of the suspension.
“It remains Indian Football’s greatest loss in the last 11 days, and Indian Football owes an apology to the talented girls who had trained so hard for this event. We request the players, staff and club management to remain strong, and we are sure that they will bounce back once again.”— AIFF statement