The international football federation, FIFA, has become the second sports body, after the International Olympic Committee, to get legal protection for its emblem in India.
FIFA’s emblem has been listed under the Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, giving it protection equivalent to the national emblem --- four lions standing back to back atop the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath.
“Bringing the FIFA emblem under the ambit of the law was required for acceptance of India’s bid for the youth (U-17) football world cup,” explained a senior government official.
India is pitted against South Africa, Ireland and Uzbekistan for the event to be held in 2017.
The Union Cabinet had in June approved the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) bid after FIFA rejected India’s initial bid in the absence of government guarantees. One of the conditions for accepting the bid was the protection of FIFA’s emblem from misuse.
The Consumer Affairs ministry this week notified the insertion of FIFA’s emblem in the schedule of the law listing organisations whose emblems cannot be used for professional and commercial purpose without permission.
Misuse of the emblem will attract a fine of Rs 500.
Interestingly, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is not covered under the emblem law.
The law also does not protect any domestic sports federation, including BCCI.