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FIFA ban: Sudan’s Football Federation agrees on roadmap

July 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Sudanese playing street football (fussballbotschafter.de)
Sudanese playing street football (fussballbotschafter.de)

On Sunday, the Sudanese Minister of Youth and Sports, the country’s Football Federation, and the ‘30 April Group’ agreed on a roadmap to end the suspension of the Federation by the FIFA.

On 6 July, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) froze the membership of the Sudan Football Association (SFA) because of government interference.

A group within the SWA, calling themselves the 30 April Group elected Abdelrahman Sirelkhatim as the new president of the SFA, though the FIFA had previously stated that no election should take place until late 2017. After incumbent president Mutasim Jaafar reported the matter to the FIFA, the Sudanese Minister of Justice appointed Sirelkhatim as the new SFA chairman.

The FIFA responded by giving the SFA an ultimatum to cancel the decision. When this did not happen, it suspended the activities of the SFA.

Sports Minister Abdelkarim Mousa said after the signing of the roadmap at the SFA premises in Khartoum that “the agreement unfortunately came too late”.

He expressed his consent about the agreement between the two conflicting parties.

The Minister apologised to experts, referees, trainers, administrators, technicians, football clubs, and the public for the FIFA ban that excludes El Hilal and El Merrikh football clubs from the African Champions League, and Hilal El Obeid from the Africa Confederation Cup.

SFA President Jaafar said that FIFA will be briefed about the roadmap agreement on technical affairs and that will be presented to the SFA Board of Directors. The chairman of the 30 April Group, Abdelgader Hamad, hailed the agreement “for the sake of the Sudanese football”.

Disaster’

On Friday, the Sudanese Congress Party called on the authorities “to put an end to all forms of government interference in sports”.

The opposition party urged Khartoum in a statement “to respond immediately to the decisions of the International Football Federation, and withdraw the decision of the Ministry of Justice”.

According to the party, the decision to freeze the membership of the SFA is “a logical result of the government's policies and its disregard for the people”.

It called on the sports clubs to overcome their internal divisions and stand together to save the Sudanese football.

The National Consensus Forces, a coalition of leftist opposition parties also issued a statement in which they as well hold the government responsible for the FIFA's decision to freeze the Sudanese football activities.

The National Umma Party, led by El Sadig El Mahdi, also criticised the authorities’ role.

“The lack of seriousness of Khartoum and its proxies in dealing with the issue after the FIFA decided to suspend the sports activities in Sudan, confirms the regime’s intransigence, monopolization, and its exclusion policies that are leading the country down the cliff.”

Mohamed Abdelnabi, Secretary-general of the Umma Party told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that “the FIFA's banning of the SFA is just one of the many failures of the regime.

“The government corruption has now reached the sport sector,”he said, and called on “all football fans to address this absurdity, and take the initiative to isolate and hold accountable those involved in this disaster,” he said.


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