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SAFF events to be held as per schedule excluding India: Helal

FIFA suspends All India Football Federation

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 17 August, 2022 12:00 AM
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SAFF events to be held as per schedule excluding India: Helal

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SAFF General Secretary Anwarul Haque Helal said on Tuesday that SAFF events will run as per the schedule after  FIFA suspended the All India Football Federation for an indefinite period on the same day.

 The highest body of world football said its council unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation “due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes”.

Federations must be free from legal and political interference, according to FIFA rules.

The suspension means that the South Asian nation will not be allowed to take part in any international football activities; even not in the regional competitions of the Asian Football Confederation and South Asian Football Federation. 

AFC, SAFF will hold a virtual meeting of the executive committee today to take a decision on India’s participation and the decision might come to exclude India from all its competitions until FIFA uplifts the suspension.

“India are not taking part in any international competitions, it is clear. So, the decision might come to exclude them from the next competitions this year. India’s ban or absence will not have any impact on these competitions and everything will run as per the schedules,” Helal told The Daily Sun on Tuesday. 

The upcoming two competitions of SAFF are the women’s championship and U-17 championship. The women’s championship is scheduled to be held on September 6-19 in Nepal where India were put in Group A along with three teams – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives and the U-17 on September 5–14 in Sri Lanka where India were put in Group B along with Nepal and Bhutan.

“No team can participate in any competitions with FIFA suspension even then we will listen to them. As per as I know they have a case hearing tomorrow, let’s see what happens next. India have nothing to host any SAFF competitions this year, so their ban will not have much impact on our calendar,” Helal said.

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

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in India as planned due to suspension.

FIFA is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary.

“FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved,” FIFA said.