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FIFA Bans Sudan over Government Interference

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Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has indefinitely suspended Sudan Football Federation (SFA).

The world football governing body pronounced the decision on Thursday evening citing government interference into football matters of Sudan.

In a letter dated July 6, 2017, FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura indicated that the Bureau of the FIFA Council took the bold decision.

“We inform you that based on the decision taken by the Bureau of FIFA Council on 27th June 2017, the Sudan Football Association has been suspended according to Article 15 of the FIFA statues until further notice,” reads part of the statement.

FIFA had given Sudan an ultimatum of until June 30 to avoid an international ban from football by reinstating the FIFA-recognised SFA President and board of directors.

The crisis started in April when a group led by Abdel-Rahman Sir Elkatim was declared winner of the SFA elections through a judicial order after a dispute with President Mutasim Gaafar who is recognized by FIFA.

The elections were held and Elkatim was declared winner despite FIFA previously stating that no elections should take place until late 2017.

A delegation from Geneva visited Khartoum mid- June and met with Sudan’s minister of youth and sport, and the leaders of the two groups in an attempt to reach an agreement.

The FIFA delegation said that to avoid freezing football activities in Sudan, the ministry’s decree that gave the police the right to evacuate the SFA premises and hand it over to Sir Elkatim should be declared void by June 30.

However, by the end of the ultimatum, there was no change or communication from the minister hence forcing FIFA to evoke the law.

The decision means Sudan loses its membership and the clubs currently playing at the ongoing CAF Champions league and Confederation Cup are automatically ejected.

“Consequently, SFA lose all its membership rights as defined in art.13 of the FIFA statutes. The SFA representative and clubs are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the ban is lifted.”

This affects clubs like Al Hilal Obeid, Al Hilal and Al Merreikh plus the Sudanese national team.

Al Hilal Obeid who are in Total CAF Confederation Cup in group C alongside Smouha and Zesco United are ejected.

Al Hilal and Al Merreikh games have also been cancelled.

The former was supposed to host Mozambique’s Ferroviero Beira while All Merreikh where Uganda’s goalkeeper Salim Jamal plays had already made the trip to Tunisia to take on Etoile du Sahel.

The Sudanese national team were drawn in Group A of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifications, and lost their first game 3-1 at home against Madagascar.

 

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