FIFA reminds India of imminent suspension, losing the U-17 Women’s World Cup

The sun is reflected on the FIFA logo in front of the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wegmann

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MUMBAI (Reuters) – FIFA has reminded the Indian Football Association that it risks losing the upcoming U-17 Women’s World Cup and faces a ban for “deviations” from an agreed roadmap aimed at solving governance issues.

India’s highest court dissolved the All India Football Association (AIFF) in May and appointed a three-member panel to regulate the sport, amend the FIFA constitution and hold elections that have been suspended for 18 months.

In response, FIFA and the AFC dispatched a team led by AFC Secretary General Windsor John to meet with stakeholders in Indian football and draw up a roadmap for FIFA to amend its statutes by the end of July, then conclude the elections at the latest. September 15.

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The Indian court this week ordered the elections to be held urgently and said the elected commission would be a temporary body for a period of three months.

“In accordance with the said roadmap, the AFC has been calling for a special general assembly in the first week of August 2022 to approve the new laws that have been worked on with FIFA, the AFC and the Indian football community,” a message sent by FIFA and the AFC. He said.

“Unfortunately, we have been informed that yesterday’s (Wednesday) High Court hearing on the status of the AFC resulted in deviations from the above roadmap.

“If considered true, it indisputably jeopardizes the mutual understanding that has been shown thus far on the steps forward.”

The letter, seen by Reuters, was addressed to the AFC Acting Secretary-General, Sonando Dhar, and was signed by FIFA Secretary-General Fatma Samoura and John of the AFC. It asked the Indian body to provide a copy of the court’s decision by Tuesday.

FIFA warned that sanctions, if serious deviations from the agreed roadmap are found, could include “the suspension of the Asian Football Confederation and the withdrawal of the rights to host the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India (in October)”.

The AFC elections, previously led by FIFA Council member Praful Patel, were due to be held by December 2020, but were postponed due to deadlock over amendments to its constitution.

FIFA laws state that member associations must be free from legal and political interference in their countries, and the former world governing body has suspended other national associations due to similar situations.

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Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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