FIFA suspends Sudan Football Association


The world football governing body FIFA has suspended the Sudan Football Association (SFA) starting 6 July.

"We are obliged to inform you that the SFA is suspended in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council," said part of the letter addressed to the SFA General Secretary Magdi Shams Eldin and signed by the FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura.

The letter also clearly states that the suspension means Sudan lose all its membership rights as defined in article 13 of the Fifa statues.

"The Sudan Football Association representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted," added the letter.

The development means Sudan's top sides Al Merreikh and Al Hilal Omdurman that were meant to battle in CAF Champions League matches against Etoile Du Sahel and Ferroviario Da Beira respectively on Friday (8 Jul) are technically out.

Another Sudan side Hilal Obayed that already qualified for the quarterfinal stage of the CAF Confederation Cup and is meant to face Zambia's Zesco United on Saturday are also out.

The matches can only go ahead if Sudan agree to FIFA's demands on Friday hours before the matches.

"The suspension would only be lifted once the decree of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice of 2 June 2017 is declared null or void and the Board of Directors of the SFA with its President, Dr Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhatim is reinstated" read the letter.

On 27 June Samoura in a letter to SFA warned that the world football governing body would suspend Sudan if certain measures were not taken by 30 June.

Two rival groups have been claiming to run affairs of the Sudan Football Association (SFA) although FIFA only recognises the one run by Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhatim.

But on 2 June Mutasim's executive was forcefully evacuated from the premises by reportedly government. The evacuation was reportedly enforced through a decree from the undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice. After the evacuation the rival body under Abdel Rahman Sir Elkatim was allowed to occupy the headquarters.

In April this year, Abdel-Rahman Sir Elkhatim reportedly won the SFA elections few days after Fifa had ordered the suspension of the elections for six months. Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhatim reported the matter to Fifa claiming the election was illegal.

But 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. But the two bodies including the Minister did not agree to the direction the Fifa officials were reportedly taking.

Last Friday the two rival parties in Sudan and the Ministry of Youth and Sports met, but failed to take action as was requested by FIFA.