Darkest hour of Indian football is over: AIFF

As a consequence, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to take place on October 11-30 will be held in India as planned.
Representative image
Representative image

NEW DELHI: The Bureau of the FIFA Council on Friday decided to lift the suspension that was imposed on the All India Football Federation (AIFF) due to undue third-party influence.

The decision was taken after the FIFA received confirmation that the mandate of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which was set up to assume the powers of the AIFF executive committee, had been terminated and that the AIFF administration had regained full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs. The FIFA and the AFC will continue to monitor the situation and will support the AIFF in organising its elections in a timely manner, said the national football body.

As a consequence, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to take place on October 11-30 will be held in India as planned. The AIFF acting general secretary Sunando Dhar said: “The darkest hour of Indian football is finally over. The suspension that was slapped on midnight of August 15 on the AIFF, has been lifted by FIFA. We sincerely thank FIFA and AFC, especially the AFC General Secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John, for guiding us in such difficult times. We also take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the Sports Minister Anurag Thakur for solidly standing by us at this crucial juncture.”

I am the right man for prez post: Bhutia

Bhaichung Bhutia on Friday cited his “credibility”, “experience” and his equivalent in cricket, Sourav Ganguly, to hammer home the point that he is “the right man” to lead the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

Bhutia threw his hat into the AIFF election ring once again even as former goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey, seen as the BJP candidate, has emerged as the front-runner for the top job. Both the former players filed their nominations on Thursday.

“Today, what I have become is only because of football. I am a Padma Shri [awardee] because of it. I played for India for 16 years – this is my moment to give back to my sport. It needs reforms,” Bhutia said during an interaction.

“I am not new to AIFF. I am working with the government and the sports ministry. The government is supporting all sportspersons. I have the experience, the knowledge, and plans for Indian football. I can do it. With so much negativity around, we need reforms. Sportspersons are now motivated to enter administration.”

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