Sudden Death : On Running Sports Bodies and Judicial Intervention : Daily Current Affairs

Relevance: GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Phrases: All-India Football Federation (AIFF), Federation Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, Committee of Administrators (CoA), National Sports Code, influence from third parties, AIFF Executive Committee, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India.

Why in News?

  • The suspension of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) by the world governing body FIFA represents a depressing low in the annals of Indian sporting history.

What is FIFA?

  • 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. Russia was suspended in 2022.
  • It is headquartered in Zurich and the current president is Gianni Infantino.

All India Football Federation

  • The All-India Football Federation was the governing body of football in India under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
  • Formed in 1935 founded at Darbhanga, the federation was one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation, the overseer of football in Asia.

Why did FIFA suspend AIFF?

  • The spectre of a FIFA ban had been hanging over AIFF since the Supreme Court forced out Praful Patel as AIFF president for not holding elections due in December 2020 and appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former top court judge AR Dave, to manage the organization’s affairs.
  • The CoA also had to frame AIFF's constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
  • The draft constitution submitted by the CoA to the Supreme Court states the electoral college will have representatives from 36 state associations and 36 (50%) eminent football players from all over India — 24 male and 12 female.
  • The world body is okay with the executive committee having 25 percent of former players as Co-opted members.
  • FIFA termed the decision to have an equal number of eminent players alongside the state association representatives in the electoral college as "not a prudent idea".
  • FIFA officially suspended AIFF with "immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes."

What is FIFA's decision on India hosting the U-17 Women's World Cup?

  • As a suspended member, India cannot hold the World Cup that is to take place in October.
  • The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in India as planned.
  • FIFA is assessing the next steps regarding the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary.
  • However, if the ban gets lifted in time for the tournament, India could still host the World Cup.

When and how the suspension will be lifted?

  • The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs.
  • In other words, once AIFF adheres completely to the FIFA Statutes, the suspension will be lifted.

How will the FIFA suspension impact Indian football?

  • The national teams will not be able to play in international matches. Even Indian clubs will not be allowed to participate in continental tournaments.
  • The men's team is scheduled to play Singapore and Vietnam next month but those matches are now uncertain.
  • The senior women's team cannot take part in the SAFF Women's Championship, while Gokulam Kerala FC will not be able to take part in the AFC Women's Club Championship.

Could lose out on massive FIFA grants:

  • FIFA has reportedly sanctioned grants to the tune of $3 million in the last three years.
  • This money is used by AIFF for the development of grassroots football in the country.
  • If the ban persists, the AIFF stands to lose $500,000 annually in grants.
  • However, FIFA currently pays its member nations in kind – such as the construction of Astro-turf, providing footballs, jerseys, and other gears – and not in cash.


  • 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.

Source: The Hindu

Mains Question:

Q. Why has FIFA banned India, and what impact will it have on Indian football? Also, discuss what could be the possible way forward.