Bhaichung Bhutia REACTS on FIFAs Suspension of AIFF Over Third Party Influence

Mumbai: In the wake of FIFA’s suspension on AIFF on Monday night, former India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia has reacted calling the decision ‘harsh’. Bhaichung, an Indian football icon, went on to say that he feels it is ‘unfortunate’ but reckoned this would help Indian football get its system in order.Also Read – Sunil Chhetri May Retire After FIFA’s Ban on AIFF Due to ‘Third-Party Influences’?

“Very unfortunate that FIFA has banned Indian football and at the same time I feel it’s a very harsh decision of FIFA to ban Indian football,” Bhutia said. Also Read – Indian Football Fans Heartbroken After FIFA Suspends AIFF Over ‘Third-Party Influences’ | SEE TWEETS

“But at the same time I feel it’s a great opportunity for us to get our system right. It is very important that all the stakeholders — the federation, the state associations, to come together and get the system right and everybody work for the betterment of Indian football,” he added. Also Read – Bhaichung Bhutia, Sandesh Jhingan Welcome SC Verdict Granting Voting Rights to Eminent Footballers

FIFA said the suspension was effective immediately and that the transgression – constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes. This is the first time the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been banned by FIFA in its 85 year history. The AIFF ran into trouble after former president Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term with the Supreme Court ruling it invalid and ousting him from the post. The SC had placed the AIFF under a Committee of Administrators (CoA).

A team of FIFA-AFC had visited the country from June 21 to 23 after which the world body had set strict deadlines to approve the new constitution by July 31 and hold elections by Sept 15. Former India star Shabbir Ali called it extremely unfortunate and a Massive setback for Indian football. “Whatever has happened is extremely unfortunate and it is a setback for Indian football. That said, I am hopeful that the suspension will be lifted sooner than later once the elections are held, which FIFA has categorically mentioned as well,” he said.

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