India faces football ban for ‘deviations’ from FIFA ‘roadmap’ | Football news

FIFA has also warned the Indian Football Association that it risks losing the U17 Women’s World Cup as well.

FIFA has reminded India’s FA that it risks losing the upcoming Under-17 Women’s World Cup and faces a ban over “deviations” from an agreed roadmap aimed at resolving governance issues.

In May, India’s highest court dissolved the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and appointed a three-member commission to govern the sport, amend the AIFF’s constitution and hold elections that have been awaited for 18 months.

In response, football’s world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent a team led by AFC general secretary Windsor John to meet Indian football stakeholders and laid out a road map for the AIFF to change its constitution by the end of July and subsequently to conclude the elections by September 15 at the latest.

This week, an Indian court ordered the election to be held immediately and said the elected committee would be an interim body for a period of three months.

“According to the said roadmap, the AIFF was to convene a special general meeting in the first week of August 2022 to approve the new statute that we have worked on with FIFA, the AFC and the Indian football community,” a letter sent by FIFA and the AFC said.

“Unfortunately, we have been informed that the High Court hearing held yesterday on the AIFF situation has allegedly led to deviations from the aforementioned road map.

“If this is accepted as true, it would irrefutably jeopardize the mutual understanding that has been shown so far in the steps forward.”

The letter, seen by Reuters, is addressed to AIFF acting general secretary Sunando Dhar and signed by FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura and AFC’s John.

He asked the Indian authority to provide a copy of the court’s decision by Tuesday.

FIFA has warned that sanctions, if serious deviations from the agreed roadmap are found, could include “suspension of the AIFF and withdrawal of hosting rights for the 2022 U-17 Women’s World Cup in India [in October]”.

Elections for the AIFF, previously led by FIFA Council member Praful Patel, were due to be held by December 2020 but were postponed due to an impasse over constitutional changes.

FIFA’s statutes state that member federations must be exempt from legal and political interference in their respective countries, and the world governing body has previously suspended other national associations over similar cases.

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