New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to play “proactive role” in matters to hold the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in India and facilitate in lifting suspension after FIFA suspended All India Football Federation (AIFF)  citing “undue influence from third parties”, reported news agency PTI. 

In response, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it has held two meetings with the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and that efforts are being made to “break some ice” on holding the match in India, reported the news agency. 

Following Centre’s response, the apex court deferred the hearing of the AIFF case to August 22. 

On Tuesday, the FIFA had suspended AIFF with immediate effect citing “undue influence from third parties. The decision was taken unanimously by the Bureau of FIFA council. 

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes,” FIFA said in a statement Tuesday. 

“The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” the statement added.

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FIFA’s suspension of the AIFF has directly affected U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 as it is scheduled to be held in India this year between October 11 and 30 but the global football governing body said India “cannot host” the tournament at this moment, in its statement.  

Following suspension, the Centre on Tuesday sought urgent hearing of the matter in the Supreme Court. 

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that “important development” has taken place and FIFA has sent a letter suspending India which is in public domain and needs to be brought on record. 

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By Dipak

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