Sudan faces FIFA ban over government interference

FIFA has warned Sudan that it faces an international ban from football unless it overturns a governmental order to install a new football association president.

The ban is set to begin on 1 July after two rival group claimed control of the country’s association.

On 2 June, Sudan’s Ministry of Justice ordered the FIFA-recognised SFA president Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhatim to be removed and replaced by Abdel Rahman Sir Elkatim.

Football’s world governing body prohibits governmental interference in the running of a member association.

If the ban comes into place then Sudanese club Al Hilal Obeid would feel the effect immediately as they are due to play in the Confederation Cup on Saturday.

The country’s two biggest clubs Al Hilal and Al Merreikh play on Friday in the African Champions League so would initially avoid the sanction.

In April, Abdel Rahman won SFA elections even though FIFA had previously stated that no elections should take place until late 2017.

After Mutasim Gaafar reported the matter to FIFA, claiming the elections were illegal, the governing body took action this week.

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided on 27 June that if the degree of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice of Sudan of 2 June – giving the police the right to evacuate the SFA premises and hand it over to a self-proclaimed president of the SFA – has not been declared null or void by 30 June, the SFA will be automatically suspended with immediate effect,” FIFA said.

“The suspension would be lifted once the decree of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice of 2 June is declared null or void and the Board of Directors of the SFA with its President, Dr Mutasim Gaafar, is reinstated.”

Dr Gaafar is also the President of the Council for East and Central African Football Association (CECAFA).

On 13 June, FIFA sent a delegation to Khartoum in an effort to reach a solution and met the two disputing groups and the Minister of Youth and Sport, Abdel-Karim Musa.

Yet the various parties failed to agree on the direction advised by the FIFA officials.

 

 

Aisha JM