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Sports Minister Thakur, FIFA delegation discuss way forward for Indian football


Fears of the All Indian Football Federation being banned eased on Tuesday after the joint delegation of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the world body, FIFA, met union sports minister, Anurag Thakur, and agreed on preserving the autonomy of the national body and holding an early election.

The joint FIFA and AFC team led by AFC general secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John and including three representatives of the world body is on an assessment trip after the Supreme Court disbanded the office-bearers and appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA). There was concern that FIFA could ban AIFF on grounds of government interference.

The delegation’s meeting with Thakur was also attended by senior bureaucrats of the ministry.

“It was a long and fruitful meeting. The delegation and the government have both agreed that it is imperative the autonomy of the NSF is of utmost importance and both supported an early election for AIFF to ensure that the NSF can perform its duty as an autonomous body. The government will provide all support for the implementation of the sports code in the AIFF constitution (it is being drafted) so that an early election can take place,” an official in the know of things said.

“The conduct of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in India (Oct 11-30) was also discussed. The government has given its full backing for the successful conduct of the prestigious tournament.”

The general feeling is that holding elections before September end would help end the impasse.


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