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THE FIFA BAN LETTER - Here's what AIFF must do to lift the suspension from Indian football

FIFA HAS SUSPENDED the AIFF, effectively banning India from participating in all international football competitions.

The move came after several warnings from FIFA that pointed out that certain rules in the new AIFF constitution proposed by the court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) go against the FIFA Statutes, and if they're implemented would inevitably lead to AIFF's suspension.

As a result of this, Indian teams' participation in several major competitions stands cancelled. They include Gokulam Kerala FC's campaign in AFC Women's Club Championship (Next match 23rd August), Indian women's national team's participation in SAFF Women's Championship (next match 7th September) and Mohun Bagan's continuation in AFC Cup 2022 (next match 7th September).

India's right to host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled to be held in October, is also suspended as of now.

All these suspensions can be reversed if the FIFA suspension gets lifted. And in the official letter sent to AIFF, which The Fan Garage has obtained from a source, it's laid out in clear terms what needs to happen for India to make a return in world football,

"... The Bureau considered that the aforementioned circumstances constituted undue interference by a third party in accordance with art. 14 pars 1 i) and 3 of the FIFA Statutes, and in accordance with art. 16 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes. Therefore, the Bureau decided on 14 August 2022 to suspend the AIFF with immediate effect due to flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes. Furthermore,
the Bureau decided that the lifting of the suspension be subject to the following conditions being satisfied:
- Repeal of the CoA mandate in full
- The AIFF administration to be fully in charge of the AIFF’s daily affairs

Additionally, the Bureau decided that upon lifting the suspension, the following tasks will have to be addressed by the AIFF administration as follows:

- The AIFF constitution to be revised in accordance with the requirements of FIFA and the AFC and to be approved by the AIFF general assembly without interference from any third party
- Concurrently, an independent electoral committee to be elected by the AIFF general assembly to run the elections of a new executive committee
- The AIFF to carry out the upcoming electoral process as per the statutory requirement and to hold its elections based on the pre-existing membership structure of AIFF (i.e. state associations only)."

Youth development projects in Indian football are also in risk of a massive setback as programmes funded by or affiliated with AFC and/or FIFA stand cancelled as of now,

"AIFF loses all its membership rights as of 14 August 2022 until further notice. AIFF representative and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. This also means that neither the AIFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA and/or the AFC."

Indian clubs are also now banned from signing any new foreign players. The existing players who have already signed on can still play.

The domestic competitions and leagues will carry on as per schedule, and although they are unrecognized by the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) as of now, their official recognition will be restored when the FIFA suspension is lifted.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the CoA-AIFF dispute case tomorrow. And with the Indian government now in active communication with FIFA, one can hope for a positive solution to arrive in time that would limit the impact on India's national teams and clubs.

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