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FIFA asks Indian FA to hold elections by September 15 to avoid ban MPNRC

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World governing body FIFA has asked India’s football association to complete the changes to its constitution and elect new office-bearers by September 15 to avoid being banned, officials said.

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The Supreme Court of India last month dissolved the Executive Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) after it failed to conduct elections on time and amend its rules to conform to the rules laid down by the National Sports Code.

The court then appointed a three-member committee to run the body, amend the AIFF’s constitution and hold elections pending for 18 months.

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FIFA law states that member associations must be free from legal and political interference in their respective countries and the world governing body has previously suspended other national federations in similar cases.

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation sent a team led by AFC Secretary General Windsor John to meet Indian football stakeholders, including Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, on a three-day visit that concluded on Thursday.

“The meetings concluded that the next step should be the ratification of the AIFF Laws in line with FIFA/AFC’s principles of good governance and the holding of an election congress to choose the next AIFF leadership,” the AFC said in a statement.

“This will be based on the timeline agreed by the AIFF stakeholders.”

Delhi FA chief and former FIFA regional development official Shaji Prabhakaran said on Twitter that the AIFF was given a deadline of July 31 to amend its rules and September 15 to conclude the elections.

“The FIFA-AFC delegation has given us a strict deadline. It is on us to avoid the FIFA ban.

A ban could see India lose its hosting rights for the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in October.

The elections to the AIFF, led by FIFA Council member Praful Patel, were to be held by December 2020, but were delayed due to a deadlock over amendments to its constitution.

Cricket-crazy India is a huge under-achiever in football and the country, which is home to 1.3 billion people, is yet to make it to the World Cup final.

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