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What is FIFA?

  • FIFA stands for Fédération internationale de Football Association.
  • It is an international governing body of football, beach football and futsal.
  • It was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations.
  • It is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland.

Why FIFA banned AIFF?

  • The current set of troubles for Indian football began after the erstwhile AIFF president, Praful Patel, who was also a FIFA council member, refused to relinquish his post as the head of football in the country.
  • Patel gave an excuse of Covid-19 pandemic for not exiting the stage. It led to long drawn court case regarding the AIFF constitution.
  • But on May 18 2022, the Supreme Court intervened, and removed Patel from his post.
  • Supreme court then appointed a Committee of Administrators (COA) to run the AIFF. The setting up of this COA is where the contentious relationship with FIFA began, which eventually led to the ban.

Why FIFA didn’t ban AIFF in May 2022?

  • FIFA initially took stock of the case and believed that the COA would not make any major changes to the AIFF constitution.
  • However, COA brought sweeping changes to AIFF constitution. COA altered the executive committee of the AIFF which is democratically elected body among state associations that runs the affairs of AIFF.
  • COA changed its composition to 70 from 35. The executive committee would comprise 35 (50%) “eminent players” and 35 state associations.
  • COA also made changes in the wording of what India’s top league (I-league v. ISL) was, how relegation and promotion would work, and in laying down that the AIFF would be running the top league solely. (In 2018, it was agreed that ISL would be India’s top league).

What is the effect of ban?

  1. Losing U-17 Women’s World Cup Host Status – Oct 2022
  2. National Teams Not Allowed to Play in International Tournaments
  3. Indian Football Clubs not allowed to Participate in International Tournaments
    • Gokulam Kerala FC which is already in Uzbekistan for AFC Women’s Club Championship has been grounded.
  4. Indian Football Clubs not allowed to Sign Foreign Players

When will the ban end?

  • In a letter addressed to the acting general secretary of the AIFF, FIFA has said that two main concerns need to be addressed in order for the ban to be lifted.
  1. First, the mandate of the COA would have to be repealed in full.
  2. Second, the AIFF administration would need to be completely in charge of its day-to-day running once again.
      • Also, AIFF constitution must be on the terms of FIFA and the AFC’s policies.

FIFA bans on similar grounds?

  • Iraq 2008
  • Nigeria 2014
  • Kuwait 2015
  • Indonesia 2015
  • Guatemala 2016
  • Pakistan 2017/2021
  • Kenya 2022

Is it just football?

  • Recently, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is also staring at a similar fate like AIFF after the Delhi High Court named another CoA to run the federation.
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also threatened to suspend the IOA for outside interference in its functioning.
  • The IOA is the fifth sports federation, after football, hockey, judo and table tennis, to be placed under a CoA by the apex court. Retd Justice Anil Dave and ex CEC S Y Quraishi are administrators in football, hockey and IOA CoAs.

The Big Question

  • Why the sports governance in multiple sports in India is caught in a jam?

A Sports Code


  • Ban on politicians?
  • Age limit?
  • Term limit?
  • Cooling off period?
  • Representation?
  • Elections?

International Experience




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