New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has taken a significant step towards broadening the scope of national team representation by considering the inclusion of Indian origins alongside individuals of Indian nationals . To address this matter comprehensively, the AIFF has established a dedicated working committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive study and submitting a report on this subject. This move reflects a potential shift from the current regulations, which prevent both categories from participating concurrently in international competitions as part of the national team.
Under the current regulations, only individuals with Indian citizenship are eligible to represent the Indian national football team. Similarly, individuals of Indian origin residing abroad are required to acquire Indian citizenship to become eligible for national team selection. The AIFF’s working committee, led by Sameer Thapar, President of the Punjab Football Association, is set to deliver its report by January 31, detailing potential avenues for exploring inclusivity within the team. Additional members of the committee, known as Karma Samiti, will be appointed at a later date..
The committee’s efforts will involve gathering pertinent information on footballers holding PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) cards. Despite the current legal constraints preventing their participation in national teams, the AIFF aims to engage in discussions with the central government to seek a resolution to this matter. Kalyan chaubey , President of AIFF, emphasised the necessity of a thorough study before embarking on any potential changes.