The AIFF was suspended by the world football governing body FIFA on Monday. The decision has been taken due to undue influence from third parties as stated by FIFA officials.
Fifa’s suspension of the AIFF marked the culmination of a years-long drama. Earlier, FIFA had already given an ultimatum to AIFF and also threatened to suspend and take the rights to host the women’s U-17 World Cup. The Supreme Court will hear the matter after the Union Government sought an urgent hearing after Fifa’s announcement.
Timeline of the events leading to India’s suspension from FIFA
December 21, 2016: For the third successive term, Praful Patel was elected AIFF president.
March 15, 2019: Fifa gave hosting rights of the 2020 U-17 Women’s World Cup to India. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India was given the right to host the 2022 edition.
April 6, 2019: Patel is elected as a Fifa Council member, at the 2019 AFC Congress.
April 2022: The Indian government reduced the funding to the AIFF from Rs 30 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 5 crore for 2022-23 due to ‘poor performance’.
May 10, 2022: Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran requested Patel to hold elections without further delay.
May 18, 2022: Supreme Court of India removes Praful Patel and appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators to run the day-to-day affairs of the national federation. The CoA is headed by former SC judge AR Dave, Quraishi, and former Indian football team captain Bhaskar Ganguly.
June 21-23, 2022: A joint seven-member Fifa/AFC commission came to India to hold talks with the CoA and other stakeholders and issued a strict timeline for the AIFF to adhere and threatened for the ban.-- Advertisement --
The deadline was given and a new constitution must be adopted by July 31. The Special General Body Meeting was to be held by August 5 and the motive was to finalize the dates for elections.
July 13, 2022: On this day, COA sends the final draft constitution of AIFF to Fifa.
July 15, 2022: CoA put forward the draft constitution to the Supreme Court.
In mid-July, FIFA stated
“Although we agree that players’ voice needs to be heard, we are also of the view that the importance of the existing members of the AIFF should not be undermined. To bring in 50 percent of the members in the Congress structure … is not a prudent idea, and the AIFF should seek to be more diverse in future”
Jul 18, 2022: State FAs write to Fifa about the several clauses of the final draft constitution that are discriminatory and illogical.
July 19, 2022: State FAs and Football Sports Development Limited, the AIFF’s marketing partners, approached the Supreme Court over certain clauses in the CoA’s draft constitution.
July 21, 2022: Hearing FSDL and state FAs’ pleas, SC stated that it would let the democratically elected body handle that. The SC adjourned the hearing till July 28 and asked FSDL and states to make a brief note of their submissions.
July 26, 2022: AIFF was recommended by FIFA to have 25 percent eminent player representation in its Executive Committee as co-opted members instead of the 50 percent stipulated in the draft constitution by CoA.
July 28, 2022: The AIFF’s electoral roll and the manner of elections issues will be discussed by SC on Aug 3.
August 3, 2022: AIFF executive committee has received orders from SC to hold elections as per the schedule proposed by the CoA.
August 5, 2022: CoA’s timeline was approved by SC for elections with the poll process to begin from August 13 for the August 28 elections.
August 5, 2022:A joint letter by Fifa and the AFC has been sent to the AIFF stating that, the Supreme Court hearing had “allegedly resulted in deviations to the roadmap” and if true, “would irrefutably jeopardize the mutual understanding which was displayed so far on the steps forward”.
August 6, 2022: A copy of the Supreme Court’s order dated August 3 was sent to Fifa-AFC by CoA showing that there had been no deviation from the agreed timeline.
August 6, 2022: Praful Patel and members of 35 state associations had a meeting where Patel seems to imply that the Fifa-AFC letter from August 5 was arranged by him.
August 10, 2022: Sports Ministry of India pursued clarity from Supreme Court regarding the grant of voting rights to the players at the AIFF elections.
August 16, 2022:FIFA obtruded a ban on the All India Football Federation and also scarped the hosting rights of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.