FIFA may ban India for alleged governance interference

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After the Supreme Court ousted Praful Patel as president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and appointed a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the sport in the country, speculation is growing that the International Football Federation (FIFA) will ban India for alleged interference in governance.

Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, who is at the fag-end of his career, said that such a ban would be disastrous for Indian football players including him.

“I hope everything will come out as good for the sport and the country does not get a ban,” Chhetri said after the preparatory session ahead of the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Kolkata.

“The ban will be catastrophic not just for the whole country but for me, because I’m 37. You never know when there’s the last game for you,” he said.

The Supreme Court on May 18 reconstituted the CoA, which will be headed by former apex court Judge A.R.

Patel was thrown out of office by the Supreme Court in a May 18 ruling as he has exceeded his tenure as All India Football Federation President.

His third term in office was to end in December 2020 but he clung on to a SC case, which remained pending since 2017, to extend his executive committee’s term while refusing to hold elections till the issue of a new constitution was settled by the top court.

There were fears in some quarters that the SC ruling could lead to FIFA imposing a ban on India and stripping the country off the hosting rights of Under-17 Women’s World Cup in October. A joint team from FIFA and AFC is slated to visit India to “understand the current situation”.

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