India warned by FIFA and AFC to stick to election roadmap or face a ban

August 8 – FIFA has reminded the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that the governing body runs the risk of a ban and losing the hosting rights to the U-17 Women’s World Cup if it does not stick to an agreed roadmap to stage new elections. 

In May, India’s Supreme Court sidelined AIFF president Praful Patel, who had overstayed after his mandate lapsed in 2020, and appointed a three-member committee to run the AIFF on a daily basis, amend the constitution and stage fresh elections.

But following the court’s directive last week to stage elections on August 28, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent the AIFF a letter, warning the ruling body of what it stands to lose if it doesn’t comply with the timeline.

“As per the said roadmap, the AIFF was to call for a special general assembly on the first week of August 2022 to approve the new statutes worked upon with FIFA, the AFC and the Indian football community,” said the letter sent by FIFA and AFC.

“Unfortunately, we have been informed that the Supreme Court’s hearing held yesterday (Wednesday) on the situation of the AIFF allegedly resulted in deviations to the aforementioned roadmap.

“If this is considered to be true, it would irrefutably jeopardise the mutual understanding which was displayed so far on the steps forward.”

FIFA and the AFC have asked to obtain a transcript of the court’s decision. The letter included the threat of “suspension of the AIFF and the withdrawal of the hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India.”

Earlier this year, FIFA and the AFC sent a team to India to draw up a roadmap with domestic stakeholders to get the AIFF back on track. The roadmap suggested that elections needed to be concluded by 15 September.  The following month India is set to host the U-17 Women’s World Cup, five years on from staging the men’s equivalent.

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