NEW DELHI: Citing "undue influence" from third parties, FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect.
"The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes," FIFA said in a statement.
"The suspension means that the 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," the statement added.
The AIFF is in disarray and being run by administrators after former chief Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term without fresh elections, which courts ruled invalid.
India is due to host the U-17 Women's World Cup from October 11-30. The 2020 tournament in India was cancelled and then postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, The Supreme Court of India asked the court-appointed Committee of Administrator (CoA) and Centre to hold talks and engage with FIFA to ensure the U-17 Women's World Football Cup is held in the country.
A bench headed by justice DY Chandrachud agreed to consider the case for hearing on Thursday, after it was informed that FIFA threatened to withdraw the hosting rights.
Mentioning the matter before the top court, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan said this is the All India Football Federation Counsel (AIFF) matter and unfortunately, there has been some disturbing development. He added that some entities are interfering with the top court's order to conduct elections and "we have preferred contempt on behalf of CoA".
The Centre's counsel submitted that FIFA said that they will withdraw hosting rights and the FIFA's letter is striking at the very root of the interim order and pointed at an application filed by the government.
The bench told the Centre's counsel that he and his clients would have to engage with FIFA, to ensure that whatever is required is done and the tournament is held. After a brief hearing, the top court agreed to list the matter for hearing on Thursday, and added that the way forward is through dialogue.