The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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AFC to decide on ban in April

Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will take a decision on whether to lift a ban on Indian Football Association (IFA) in April following an appeal by Indian soccer authorities.

The AFC’s appeal committee will meet in the second week of April to “consider and discuss” on the appeals from various countries against the sanctions imposed by AFC in its last executive committee meeting, AFC general secretary Peter Velappan said Tuesday. “India has also appealed against the ban and this will be examined by the committee,” Velappan said after attending the closing ceremony of a four-day course for referees.

The AFC had initially slapped a one-year ban on the All India Football Federation (AIFF) from hosting international events for failing to submit a report on the violence-hit IFA Shield final between East Bengal and Palmeiras club of Brazil. The Asian body had also imposed a fine of $5000 on AIFF.

But after the AIFF protested the decision, the AFC clarified that the ban was applicable for AIFF-affiliated units like IFA only.

The controversial IFA Shield final in July 2001 had to be abandoned after violence on the field and subsequently the local outfit was declared the winner.

The Brazilian side later moved to the world football governing body Fifa, which forwarded the matter to AFC. The AIFF was asked to submit a report on the incident but failed to do so despite “repeated reminders” prompting the AFC to take action.

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