‘It will be catastrophic for Indian football’: Captain Sunil Chhetri on India’s potential FIFA ban

Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri believes a FIFA ban would spell disaster for Indian football. Chhetri said it would be disastrous not only for the whole country but also for him as he is in the last round of his career and would like to finish with a bang. The Indian team is facing a possible FIFA ban after India’s Supreme Court recently overturned Praful Patel as the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

FIFA council member Patel was ousted by the Supreme Court after he failed to call new elections at the AIFF despite serving three four-year terms as president. He was not eligible for another term, per the National Sports Code. The Supreme Court appointed a Committee of Trustees (CoA) to lead the council after ousting Patel and his team.

The Indian team can now be banned by FIFA for alleged interference in governance and Chhetri believes such a move could prove disastrous for Indian football. Chettri, 37, who expects to play his last games for the country, said he hoped India could avoid the ban.

“I hope everything will go as well for the sport and the country will not be banned,” Chhetri told reporters ahead of the Asian Cup qualifiers in Kolkata.

“The ban will be catastrophic not only for the whole country but for me, because I am 37 years old. You never know when there will be the last game for you,” he added.

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One of India’s most decorated footballers of all time, Chhetri has been the country’s savior on the football pitch for several years now. He was arguably one of the best strikers to ever play for the Blue Tigers and is currently among the top active scorers in international football.

However, Chhetri has repeatedly hinted that he will likely hang up his boots soon and call on his illustrious career. Chhetri responded to speculation about his retirement and said – “Right now I’m enjoying my game. The day I don’t, I’ll be done, I can’t give you a number when.”

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Can FIFA ban India?

FIFA – football’s governing body has a zero tolerance policy towards any external management of member associations. FIFA is strictly against any government interference in the management of sport in a country. In the past, FIFA banned several countries for a few years due to government interference in the independent functioning of football associations.

India could face FIFA’s wrath as the AIFF no longer operates independently and is run by a board of trustees appointed by India’s Supreme Court.

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Post expires at 9:15am on Tuesday June 14th, 2022

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