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FIFA issue ban deadline to Sudan over government intervention


(Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

FIFA gave Sudan’s Football Federation (SFA) until June 30 to avoid an international ban from football by reinstating the FIFA-recognised SFA chairman and board of directors.

The international governing body of football has warned Sudan that it’ll face suspension from world football in case it failed to overturn an order by the ministry of justice to appoint a new FA chairman. The ban is scheduled to start on July 1.

The crisis started in April when a group led by Abdel-Rahman Sir Elkatim was declared winner of the SFA’s elections through a judicial order after a dispute with another group led by FIFA-recognised president Mutasim Gaafar.

The elections were held despite FIFA previously stating that no elections should take place until late 2017. FIFA rules outlaw governmental interference in the running of any of its member associations.

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 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.

In case the SFA failed to do so, their membership will be suspended. This will immediately affect Sudanese sides Al Hilal Obeid, Al Hilal and Al Merreikh. The Sudanese national team will also be suspended.

Al Hilal Obeid are set to face Angola’s Recreativo do Libolo on July 1 in the CAF Confederation Cup. They currently top Group C on seven points, one above Recreativo and Zesco United and three above Egyptian side Smouha.

Al Hilal and Al Merreikh, who play in the CAF Champions League, will also be affected as they are set to face each other on the deadline day in the fifth round of Group A.

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

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