FIFA bans AIFF: What this means for India football, ATK Mohun Bagan and Gokulam Kerala

FIFA, the world governing body of football, temporarily suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday night, citing ‘third party’ intervention.

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“The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators  to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” said the official release.

The temporary suspension has threatened Indian national teams and its clubs’ participation in international and continental competitions this season.

Here are the possible outcomes on competitions due to the FIFA ban:

– Indian senior men’s football team has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, which is yet to have a host nation after China pulled out of hosting the tournament. The draw for the finals is scheduled to take place later this year and if the suspension isn’t reversed in time, India will not be able to take part in the Asian Cup.

– India was scheduled to host the U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup in October and as things stand, the tournament can go ahead in the country only if the suspension is lifted.

– Gokulam Kerala had qualified for the AFC Women’s Club Championship for a second successive season after winning the Indian Women’s League in May. The Championship is set to start on August 23 in Uzbekistan and it looks unlikely that Gokulam will take part in it.

– ATK Mohun Bagan has qualified for the AFC Cup inter-zone playoffs semifinals, scheduled for September 7. But its participation is in doubt.

– The boys’ U-17 team’s participation in the 2023 U17 Asian Cup qualifiers is in jeopardy with the matches slated for October.

The suspension will not affect the domestic football calendar and tournaments like the Durand Cup, Indian Super League, I-League and the Super Cup will likely go ahead on schedule. However, these tournaments will not be recognised by FIFA or AFC.

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