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FIFA to ban Sudan, champions' match jeopardised

June 29 - 2017 KHARTOUM
El Merikh vs El Hilal in 2012 (CAF)
El Merikh vs El Hilal in 2012 (CAF)

The FIFA warned Sudan to suspend all international football activities if the government does not overturn its previous order, at the eve of international football matches that would see three populair Sudanese teams at play.

The ban is set to begin on 1 July after two groups claimed control of the country's association. On 2 June, Sudan's Ministry of Justice ordered the FIFA-recognised Sudanese Football Association (SFA) President Dr Mutasim Jaafar to be removed and replaced by Abdelrahman Sirelkhatim .

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association prohibits governmental interference in the running of a member association. And so the SFA headquarters need to be vacated before Saturday, a day after El Merrikh and El Hilal teams are expected to meet in a decisive match in the Champions League. They initially avoid the sanction.

Hilal El Obeid, however, will play against an Angolan team at home in the Confederation Cup on Saturday and would feel the effect immediately, in the event the Ministry of Justice does not nullify its degree.

In April, Sirelkhatim won SFA elections even though FIFA had previously stated that no elections should take place until late 2017. After Jaafar 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 told the BBC in a statement.

“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.

(BBC)


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