Threat to impose FIFA looms on India and Chhetri hopes to overtake Messi | football

I(f) Estonia did not concede Five goals for Lionel Messi This month, legendary Indian striker Sunil Chhetri will take second place behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of the most active international scorers. The 37-year-old has 84, two points behind the Argentine, having scored four goals in the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

That distance helped India Win all three matches and head to a second consecutive appearance at the continent’s biggest event. However, Chhetri is a little concerned that he may not be able to make it to the tournament – and not because there is currently no host after China gave up those duties last month. The concern is that India could be banned from FIFA.

“I hope everything is good for the sport and the country is not banned,” Chhetri said this month. “The ban would be disastrous not only for the whole country but for me, because I’m 37. You never know when there will be the last game for you.” After the captain said his article, the coach of the national team, Igor Stimak, told those running the match in the country of 1.4 billion people to “wake up”.

Photo of Igor Stimak, India coach, last year.
Photo of Igor Stimak, India coach, last year. Photo: Xinhua/Shutterstock

Although the national team became a fixture in the continental competition, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was in turmoil. Prafull Patel replaced Priya Ranjan Dasmonsi, who had been in charge since 1988 but ended his term as bedridden, as president in 2008. Patel’s rise, FIFA Council member and Vice-President of the AFC, the world of football has been smoother than India. During his tenure, the fortunes of various national teams fluctuated, facilities improved but the domestic game is in flux due to restructuring, and the AFC’s signing of a 15-year commercial deal with Reliance in 2010 remains a controversial topic.

In March, the Ministry of Sports issued its ruling and reduced its funding By 85% for 2022-23 compared to 2019-20, with reports indicating that this was due to poor performance by the national team, disappointment with the performance of different age teams and concerns about women’s football. The AFC advised to focus on the grassroots. The Supreme Court was asked to regularize the electoral status of the union.

This means the end of Patel’s term. His third term, the maximum allowed, expired in December 2020, but no new elections were held, in which he would not be able to run (according to Patel, there was a constitutional issue that had to be sorted out first) and he remained in place. The court appointed a three-man committee of administrators (CoA) to take charge. It was originally hoped that new elections would be held by the end of June. Now talk about September.

Sunil Chhetri rose to an all-time high during India's match against Bangladesh in Doha last June.
Sunil Chhetri rose to an all-time high during India’s match against Bangladesh in Doha last June. Photo: Xinhua/Shutterstock

FIFA may have something to say about it. Other Asian countries such as Kuwait and Indonesia have been subject to bans in recent years due to what the board of directors considered government interference in the management of the union. Officials are visiting India on Monday to check on what is going on. “I don’t think FIFA would have an objection to this development,” said Dr C Qureshi, one of the three officials. “The football elections were long overdue, the previous team stayed beyond their term and the elections were necessary. I don’t see a problem of non-compliance with FIFA here. We hope that FIFA will understand and cooperate with them, and we will cooperate with them as we try to finish this task assigned to us by the court” .

In 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the Football Association elections which were won by Ashfaq Hussain. FIFA did not recognize the He led a group that stormed the headquarters of the Pakistan Federation Lahore in March 2021, which led to the disqualification of FIFA’s normalization committee. The chaos continues, and so does the ban. India is different from Pakistan, a country that loves the game but has almost fallen off the Asian football radar with self-interested leaders and a national team that has played seven games in seven years and none since 2019. FIFA has given much more interest in India, with Gianni Infantino, like Sepp Blatter before, is a regular visitor to New Delhi, and has made more investment.

The country organized the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup for men and will do the same for the women in October. The 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup was held in January, and despite a slightly awkward start when the home side had to withdraw after Covid broke their bubble, things eventually went well, and the final, with China beating South Korea, was exciting. India has made a bid to host the 2027 Men’s Asian Cup, the continent’s largest football competition. The organization of that tournament is seen at some point as a necessary step on the way to the next World Cup in the Indian subcontinent.

The recent events are a blow to Indian prestige, but it will be nothing compared to the FIFA ban. Such an outcome is unlikely, but no one wants the situation to continue. With major reforms underway in domestic competitions and a decision on the venue for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup coming soon, now is the time for officials to do what coach Stimak says and “get up”, or else the only winner of the whole situation may well be. Be Lionel Messi.