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AFC lets AIFF off the hook, strikes at IFA instead

New Delhi: In an apparent dilution of its ban on India hosting international events slapped a fortnight ago, the Asian Football Confederation today said the ban was applicable only for tournaments organised by the All India Football Federation’s affiliated units like the IFA.

The clarification has left the AIFF, which had vehemently protested the ban decision, unaffected and the game’s governing body in the country was now free to stage international tournaments.

Responding to a letter from the AIFF seeking more clarifications regarding the suspension, the Asian body sought to clear the ambiguity by stating that “the ban does not apply to age-group tournaments as well as tournaments of the AFC and Fifa and those organised by AIFF.”

“The ban only applies to international tournaments organised by affiliate units of AIFF,” the AFC’s general secretary Peter Velappan said in the letter.

The AFC, on December 11, had slapped a one-year ban on India hosting any international tournaments, after it failed to provide a report on a violence-marred match in Calcutta last year.

The decision was taken by the AFC’s executive committee which was “seriously upset” that Indian officials had not sent the report on the fracas during the IFA Shield final match between East Bengal and Palmeiras of Brazil. It had also imposed a fine of $ 5,000 on the AIFF. The AFC’s clarification means that the IFA will be barred from bringing foreign teams for the next edition of the meet if it is held within the one-year period. The players of both the teams were involved in ugly skirmishes during the final. The match was abandoned and the IFA declared East Bengal winners and charged the Brazilian side with “misconduct on the ground”.

Palmeiras had filed a complaint with Fifa and the AFC asking for intervention. (PTI)

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