FIFA bans AIFF: List of all the countries banned by FIFA over third-party influence

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FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect owing to undue third-party interference in AIFF which is a violation of FIFA's statutes.

The FIFA statutes state, "Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.

"The associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that it is prohibited to take disputes in the association or disputes affecting leagues, members of leagues, clubs, members of clubs, players, officials and other association officials to ordinary courts of law, unless the FIFA regulations or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts of law.

"Instead of recourse to ordinary courts of law, provision shall be made for arbitration."

The Supreme Court of India had recently asked long-serving AIFF President Praful Patel to step down and appointed a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to take over the affairs of the Indian FA. However, after finding the resulting developments to have violated the aforementioned FIFA statute, the governing body of world football decided to ban the AIFF.

This is not the first time FIFA has imposed a similar ban on its member associations. Let’s take a look at some instances when FIFA banned countries owing to third-party interference.

  • Haidar Abdul-Razzaq - iraq 2007getty

    Iraq | 2008

    FIFA banned Iraq ahead of their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Australia after Iraqi government dissolved their National Olympic Committee and national sport federations.

    Incidentally, Iraq government informed that the aforementioned decision wouldn’t affect the football association.

    The ban however, was annulled after a couple of days after FIFA received a letter from Baghdad confirming that the Iraqi Football Association was exempt from the dissolution decree.

    FIFA also announced that it still has concerns about political interference in Iraqi football and the decision to lift the ban is a conditional and provisional one.

    Ban Lifted: May 2008

  • Iraq fansgetty

    Iraq | 2009

    The Iraq Olympic Committee decided to disband the country's football federation and this decision led to FIFA opting to ban the West Asian nation due to government interference.

    Incidentally, FIFA made an exception for Iraq by allowing their female players to participate in a week-long football festival in Jordan in the aftermath of the ban.

    Iraq was welcomed back into the FIFA fold after the members of Iraqi Football Association (IFA) who were suspended were reinstated.

    Ban Lifted: March 2010

  • Peter Odemwingie Nigeria 2014 WORLD CUP GROUP F (06222014)LUIS ACOSTA.AFP.Getty Images

    Nigeria | 2014

    Following a poor performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) decided to sack the executive committee and a Nigerian court ordered a civil servant to run the Federation.

    FIFA immediately decided to suspend the NFF on July 9, 2014. The NFF, though was reinstated within 9 days after the court order was revoked.

    Ban Lifted: July 2014

  • Galeria México vs GuatemalaGetty Images

    Guatemala | 2016

    In October 2016, Guatemala was suspended by FIFA after a transitional committee appointed by the apex body, to run the federation in the wake of a corruption scandal, failed to operate because directors of the Federación Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala refused to recognise the committee.

    The said directors claimed that it was against the regulations of country's governing body.

    Ban Lifted: June 2018

  • Kuwait national team 2015Getty Images

    Kuwait | 2015

    FIFA decided to ban Kuwait from regional, continental and international football in October 2015 after it found out that that the country's government was interfering in the work of the football associations present in the country.

    The Kuwaiti government had brought in a legislation which disallowed the clubs and the Kuwait Football Association to function independently which FIFA considered as a third-party influence.

    Ban lifted: December 2017

  • Timnas Indonesia Lagu Kebangsaan.jpgAlvino Hanafi

    Indonesia | 2015

    The world football body suspended Indonesia as the government had essentially taken charge of the footballing affairs.

    The Indonesian Professional Sports Body, part of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, derecognised the Indonesian Football Federation and instead formed a committee to replace it. Owing to this development, FIFA had little option but to impose a ban which would be lifted two years later. Indonesia missed out on the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign as a consequence.

    Ban Lifted: May, 2016

  • pakistan

    Pakistan | 2017

    In October 2017, Pakistan was banned by FIFA from competing in international competitions due to “undue third-party interference.”

    This was after PFF’s offices and accounts were under the control of a court-appointed administrator, which violated FIFA’s statutes.

    Ban Lifted: March 2018

  • Nigeria vs Chad - Afcon Qualifier 150613Photos by Lolade Adewuyi

    Chad | 2021

    Chad Football Association was dissolved by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in March 2021 and thereafter, FIFA decided to ban the country from participating in international competitions.

    The ban was lifted six months later when the Chad Football Association (FTFA) were handed over the reins once again and the government also repealed their decision to establish a National Committee for the temporary management of football. Also, the FTFA premises were under the control of their president as opposed to being run under the supervision of the government authorities.

    Ban Lifted: October 2021

  • Ishmael Wadi Kundai Benyu Zimbabwe Afcon 2022Getty Images

    Zimbabwe | 2022

    FIFA banned Zimbabwe in February 2022 after the Zimbabwean FA (ZIFA) was suspended by the country's government-appointed Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC). The SRC intervened after allegations of sexual harassment of female referees by technical staff and allegations of fraud within ZIFA.

    Though the SRC has taken steps to reinstate ZIFA members in July 2022, Zimbabwe are unlikely to take part in the 2023 AFCON.

    The ban continues to be in force, as of now.

  • Pakistan FansGetty

    Pakistan | 2021

    Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was banned by FIFA after a faction of officials took charge of the federation’s headquarters from the Normalisation Committee, which was instituted by the governing body for world football.

    FIFA decided to suspend PFF due to the ‘hostile takeover’ which was a serious violation of its statutes.

    Ban Lifted: July 2022

  • Victor Wanyama of Kenya during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.BackpagePix.

    Kenya | 2022

    In February 2022, FIFA suspended Football Kenya Federation (FKF) after Kenyan Sports Ministry decided to appoint a caretaker committee to run the football federation.

    In November 2021, Kenyan Sports Minister Amina Mohamed set up a caretaker committee to run the activities of FKF after it was revealed that there were financial irregularities in the federation.

    FKF officials were removed with immediate effect as the committee took over the running of Kenyan football.

    After the ban was imposed, FIFA demanded the country's Sports Minister to reverse her decision to appoint a caretaker committee and hand back the control of the FKF to the officials now led by Kenyan vice-president, Doris Petra.

    The apex body also vowed to cooperate with the investigation into "corruption and any unethical conduct regarding FKF officials" during the process of ban.

    The ban continues to be in force.