The world football governing body FIFA suspended India for “undue influence from third parties” on Tuesday. It stated that the U-17 Women’s World Cup scheduled from the 11th of October “cannot currently be held in India as planned.”
This is the first time the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been banned by FIFA in its 85-year history, with the apex body saying there have been “flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes”.
“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 mentioned in a statement.
Following is the timeline of the events that led to the massive setback for Indian football:
18th May – Supreme Court’s verdict forced AIFF chief Praful Patel and his executive committee to step down. The Apex court also appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA).
23rd May – Praful Patel requested FIFA chief Gianni Infantino to not impose a ban on the country after India’s sports body was placed under a Committee of Administrators.
29th May – The CoA member S. Y. Quraishi said a newly-elected body of the AIFF should be in place by September end and a modified constitution will be submitted to the SC by July 15.
11th June – The COA and members of some affiliated units met to discuss the way forward on holding the long-pending elections.
21st June – First round of talks took place between the visiting FIFA-AFC team and the COA.
22nd June – The AIFF member units met the visiting FIFA-AFC team and informed them that the Supreme Court intervention in the national sports body was “out of necessity”.
23rd June – The visiting FIFA-AFC team set deadlines and asked the stakeholders to get the constitution approved by July 31 and conduct elections by September 15.
13th July – The COA sent the final draft constitution of AIFF to FIFA.
16th July – The CoA submitted the AIFF draft constitution to Supreme Court for its approval.
18th July – AIFF stated units expressed unhappiness over several provisions in the final draft constitution, prepared by the CoA, but said willing to find a middle ground.
21st July – Supreme court endorsed the need to expedite the elections to the AIFF.
26th July – FIFA recommended AIFF to have 25 per cent eminent player representation in its Executive Committee as co-opted members instead of the 50 per cent stipulated in the draft constitution by CoA.
28th July – A SC bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said it will hear the modalities for holding the elections on August 3.
3rd August – SC directed AIFF executive committee to hold elections as per the schedule proposed by the CoA.
5th August – Supreme Court approved the COA timeline for AIFF elections, polls to be held on August 28 and the poll process will start on August 13.
6th August – FIFA threatened to suspend the AIFF and strip of its right to host the women’s U-17 World Cup in October due to a third party “influence”.
7th August – The COA assured FIFA that it is on course to set the All India Football Federation.
10th August – The COA filed a contempt petition against ousted AIFF president Praful Patel for “interfering with the proceedings” of the Supreme Court.
11th August – SC warned the state units of “exercising its authority” if ousted AIFF chief Praful Patel attends its meetings and interferes with the administration of justice.
13th August – AIFF included 36 ’eminent’ players, including Bhaichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan, in the list of voters comprising the electoral college for the general body elections, which are set to be held on August 28.
15th August – FIFA informed the Sports Ministry that it remains firm in its opposition to individual members’ inclusion in the electoral college for the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) elections. FIFA suspended AIFF due to “undue influence from third parties.”
(Inputs from PTI)