No Immediate Suspension for Indian Football Team, Says Former AIFF President Praful Patel

It has been a topsy-turvy ride for Indian football in recent times. The Supreme Court had to intervene last month in order to solve the administrative issues. The court formed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to take care of All India Football Federation’s daily matters. The decision also brought curtains down on Praful Patel’s stint as the president of the AIFF.

Rumours have been rife that the Supreme Court ruling might trigger FIFA to impose a ban on the Indian team. According to Patel, there is no need to be worried about an immediate suspension.

“I have been proactively engaging with them (FIFA and Asian Football Confederation) so they can understand the situation better. I have been successful to the extent that we’ve been able to avoid immediate suspension,” Patel was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Patel said FIFA has made it clear that of the issue is not resolved by July-end further steps could be taken by football’s world governing body.

Indian football team’s captain Sunil Chhetri feels that a ban on the national team would be “catastrophic.” “I hope everything will come out as good for the sport and the country does not get a ban. The ban will be catastrophic not just for the whole country but for me, because I’m 37. You never know when there’s the last game for you,” ” Chhetri had said ahead of the Asian Cup Qualifiers.

According to reports, a joint FIFA and AFC delegation will come to India on June 20. A meeting with all the parties, including the CoA, is likely.

The Supreme Court had constituted a CoA comprising of former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, Justice Anil Dave and former Indian football team skipper Bhaskar Ganguly.

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