AIFF bars Jharkhand from participating in Women’s Santosh Trophy, National Championship

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has barred the Jharkhand Football Association from sending a team to participate in the Santosh Trophy and Womenโ€™s championship, citing an internal conflict.

The JFA has been pegged back by infighting and the AIFF received two independent teams lists for both the competitions, one from Ghulam Rabbani, the chairman – honorary secretary, and another from Nazam Ansari who is the president- joint secretary.

Despite the AIFF’s attempts, the two rival factions within the JFA were unable to come to an understanding and the AIFF was forced to bar the federation from participating in the two competitions.

“Upon receiving four (4) lists in total from the JFA, the AIFF entered into resolution communication with the management of JFA immediately. However, despite the AIFFโ€™s repeated attempts to ensure that the rights of the players and the chance of the Member Association to participate in national competitions are not affected, the JFA committee did not resolve the issue,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das wrote in a letter addressed to the state’s football body on Monday.

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The letter added, “As you are well aware, team reporting for the State of Jharkhand, for the Womenโ€™s championship is on the 25th November 2021 and for the Santosh Trophy is on the 28th November 2021.”

“In this regard, to ensure that the sanctity of the competitions is protected and the fact that in any case no team from JFA would be able to reach the required venue within the timeline (as other personnel including referees also need to reach on time for conducting the matches), the AIFF has decided to not entertain any teams from the JFA for the aforementioned competitions.”

The National Championships will be held in Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram from November 28 to December 9.

The league-cum-knockout event will feature 32 teams divided into eight groups with the winner of each group moving to the quarterfinals which will mark the start of the knockout stage. The final round of the Santosh Trophy will also be played in Kerala in December.

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