FIFA’s hammer falls on Sudan

Sudanese national team

FIFA said yesterday it had suspended Sudan with immediate effect due to government interference in the Sudan Football Association (SFA).

The decision bans the Sudanese national team from playing international matches and bars the country’s clubs from all continental competitions.

Al-Hilal, Al Merreikh and Al-Hilal Obeid won’t be able to participate in Africa’s two top club competitions, the Champions League and the Confederation Cup.

The suspension, which follows an earlier FIFA Council decision on 27 June, will be lifted when the SFA Board of Directors and its President Mutasim Gaafar Sir Eklkhatim are reinstated, FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA’s move follows the sidelining of the SFA president, who was replaced by Abdel Rahman Elkatim on 2 June after a decree from the Sudanese government.

On 27 June world football’s governing body had asked Sudan to cancel the decree and reinstate Gaafar before the end of the month, which Sudan declined to do.

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