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India handed boost to host Under-17 Women’s World Cup after Supreme Court rules to repeal CoA

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AIFF acting secretary general Sunando Dhar has been given temporary control over the organisation’s affairs ©Getty Images

India’s hopes of hosting the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup has been boosted after the Supreme Court of India repealed the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) it appointed to manage the All Indian Football Federation’s (AIFF) daily affairs.

This meets one of the major demands FIFA requested following its decision to suspended the AIFF due to “undue influence from third parties”, which constitutes to a violation of FIFA Statutes.

Football’s worldwide body also insisted the ban will be overturned once the AIFF Executive Committee had been returned full control of its daily affairs.

The Under-17 Women’s World Cup cannot be hosted if the AIFF is banned.

However, the court, led by Justice DY Chandrachud, made an oral order to hand power back to the Indian federation.

“The day-to-day management of AIFF shall be looked after by the AIFF administration led by the acting secretary general exclusively,” the court bench said.

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AIFF acting secretary general Sunando Dhar will now take over the organisation’s daily affairs while elections of the AIFF Executive Committee, originally set for August 28, have been postponed by a week.

The Committee initially took power after the court ousted AIIF President Praful Patel on May 18 for not holding elections, which were due on December 18.

The Supreme Court directed the AIFF Executive Committee to expeditiously hold elections according to a schedule proposed by the CoA.

Candidates in the election will be representatives of the 36 state and union territories member associations of the AIFF.

It was also proposed by the court that the new AIFF Executive Committee will consist of 23 members, 17 members of which will be elected representatives and the other six being eminent players.

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Four of these players would be men and two would be women.

FIFA’s sanction meant that India’s hosting of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup was thrown into doubt, with the tournament due to take place between October 11 to 30 later this year.

Gokulam Kerala were also unable to compete in the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Club Championship.

It was the first time that the AIFF had been banned by FIFA in its 85-year history.

The Indian Olympic Association is also facing risk of suspension after it received a warning letter from the International Olympic Committee, asking it to hold elections in the coming weeks.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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