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FIFA threatens to ban AIFF and strip it of hosting rights for the U-17 Women’s World Cup

FIFA has threatened to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and strip it of the rights to host the U-17 Women’s World Cup in October due to third-party “influence”.

The development comes just days after the Supreme Court ordered elections to be held for the national association.

“We kindly request the AIFF to provide us with an official transcript of the Supreme Court decision of August 3, 2022 without further delay by 17:00 Indian Standard Time on August 9, 2022,” FIFA said in a letter the acting Secretary General of the AIFF Sunando Dhar.

“If, upon receipt of the above documents and after their in-depth analysis, there are any serious deviations from the above roadmap, we would submit the matter to our relevant decision-making body for further consideration and possible decision based on the FIFA Statutes, including suspension of the AIFF and withdrawal the hosting rights for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 in India.”

FIFA has announced that it is against third party interference in the operations of its member entities.

Sunando Dhar, AIFF Secretary General | Photo credit: Getty Images

“In this context, we would like to recall the legal obligations of the AIFF applicable to all FIFA and AFC member associations, including the obligation to manage their affairs independently and to ensure that their own affairs are not influenced by third parties (cf. Art 14.1.(i) and Article 19.1 of the FIFA Statutes in conjunction with Article 15.4 of the AFC Statutes).”

In the letter sent out on Friday, signed by FIFA and AFC general secretaries Fatma Samour and Datuk Windsor John respectively, the world governing body said the Supreme Court’s order “allegedly” led to deviations from the previously agreed roadmap.

“Please refer to our joint FIFA-AFC letter dated July 1, 2022, which addressed the AIFF agreed roadmap and other participants in the meetings organized during a joint mission from June 21-23, 2022 our joint FIFA-AFC letter of 25 July 2022.

“According to said roadmap, the AIFF should convene an Extraordinary General Assembly in the first week of August 2022 to approve the new statutes that FIFA, the AFC and the Indian football community have been working on.

“Unfortunately, we have been informed that yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing on the situation of the AIFF allegedly resulted in deviations from the above roadmap. If this is taken as true, it would irrefutably jeopardize the mutual understanding that has been demonstrated on the steps forward so far.”

India is set to host the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup from October 11-30 and the Union cabinet last month approved the signing of guarantees to host the women’s age group show in Bhubaneswar, Goa and Mumbai.

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