Home / News / India /  Sports Ministry requests FIFA, AFC to let Indian clubs play despite AIFF ban

Despite the ban on AIFF, the Sports Ministry on Friday requested the world football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to allow Indian clubs Sree Gokulam Kerala FC and ATK Mohun Bagan compete in the tournaments.

Late on Monday, FIFA suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) creating chaos as Gokulam Kerala women's team had already reached Uzbekistan to participate in their second AFC Women's Club Championship.

The women's team is scheduled to compete against a team from Iran on 23 August and one from the host nation on 26 August in Qarshi.

The ATK Mohun Bagan is slated to play the AFC Cup 2022 (Inter-Zone semifinals) on 7 September in Bahrain.

Gokulam Kerala was already in Uzbekistan when FIFA's suspension of AIFF was announced, the ministry wrote an email to FIFA and AFC requesting for the participation apprising them of this fact.

The ministry said in a release, "It has requested FIFA and AFC to therefore consider allowing the team to play in the AFC Women's Club Championship (West region) in the interest of the young players."

The ministry added that it has also "reached out to the Indian embassy in Uzbekistan to extend assistance to the team in all possible ways. The ministry is also in constant touch with Gokulam team's management."

Following the news of the ban, VC Praveen, president of Gokulam Kerala women's team had called up the sports ministry with the players standing by his side.

AFC offered the team an extension of 48 hours in Tashkent after the ministry promptly took up the matter.

On Monday, FIFA had suspended India for "undue influence from third parties" and said the U-17 Women's World Cup "cannot currently be held in India as planned".

The apex body FIFA banned AIFF saying that there have been "flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes". This is the first time AIFF has been banned by FIFA in its 85-year history.

With inputs from PTI.

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