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India requests FIFA and AFC to let its clubs play their scheduled tournaments

Image courtesy: Twitter/@IndianFootball)

In keeping with its athlete-first approach, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reached out to the football's world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to allow Indian club sides, Sree Gokulam Kerala FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, compete in the scheduled tournaments.

While ATK Mohun Bagan is slated to play the AFC Cup 2022 (Inter-Zone semifinals) on September 7 in Bahrain, Sree Gokulam Kerala FC is already in Uzbekistan and is scheduled to play against a team from Iran on August 23 and one from the host nation on August 26 in the southern Uzbekistan city of Qarshi.

In its email to FIFA and AFC, the Sports Ministry has highlighted the fact that Sree Gokulam Kerala FC was already in Uzbekistan when FIFA’s suspension of AIFF was announced.

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.

Meanwhile, the ministry 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.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com earlier, FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation (AIFF) "due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes".

The suspension also means that the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled to be held in India from October 11-30, cannot be currently held as planned.

Also Read: Supreme Court to hear matter of India's suspension by FIFA on Wednesday