Why did FIFA suspend AIFF? | An event timeline and future of U-17 Women’s World Cup 


After much contemplation, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) derived itself as a national governing body of football in 1937. Getting attached to the international governing body of football (FIFA) in 1948; AIFF also served as a founding member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1954.

The All India Football Federation governs and sanctions national leagues such as Indian Super League, I-League and Super Cup to promote competitive football tournaments and is also involved in local football tournaments and competitions via state football associations.

On Tuesday, FIFA declared the suspension of AIFF for “undue influence from third parties” and India loses the opportunity to host Under-17 Women’s World cup scheduled in October.

“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,” posted on FIFA’s website under media release.

FIFA also added, “FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved.”


Why did FIFA suspend AIFF?

According to FIFA statutes, “member federations should not be subject to legal and political interference in their respective countries.” Other national associations have also faced similar suspensions from FIFA before. A scheduled election of AIFF in December 2020 was in deadlock over modification in the constitution. It delayed the whole process led by FIFA Council members and Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel.

A draft constitution emanated from CoA for the AIFF was passed to Supreme Court on 16th July. The electoral college of AIFF and the executive council is supposed to be constituted with 50% (36 in number) of noteworthy players according to the constitution. Henceforth certain clauses were resisted by state units to combat this decision in SC.

Meanwhile, FIFA called the representation of 50% of notable players in the electoral college “not a wise decision”. However, the international body of football approves with 25% of players as members. Contrastingly, Bhaiching Bhutia supported the voting rights in AIFF by notable players.

On 3 August, Supreme Court ordered AIFF to conduct the election and approved the electoral college consisting of 36 members of the association and 36 notable former players.

Since then between 6-13 August FIFA threatened to suspend AIFF amid the court proceedings and eventually dangles AIFF on Tuesday 15th August. 


Event Timeline

May 18, 2022-

The Supreme court frees the burden of Praful Patel and his executive committee and grants the committee of administrators (CoA) to manage the affairs who are also responsible for drafting the constitution for the same body


May 29, 2022-

CoA member Dr S Y Qureshi pointed toward a new constitution in place set for September.


June 11, 2022-

Deliberation on the future of holding elections by CoA and other affiliated bodies


June 21, 2022-

FIFA send an AFC team to formulate a 12-member advisory committee to entrust daily proceedings of AIFF’s distinct departments


What’s next?

Once the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee repossess their role after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) emanating verdict for the AIFF administration to regain full control the suspension will be lifted. 

Amid this suspension from FIFA, India currently can not execute the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 that is scheduled for 11-30 October 2022. “FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved,” the statement from release.

However, this can be a positive sign for the future of Indian football if the governing regulations and administrative legislations are completed for an overhauling of the complete AIFF system.