COLOMBO: The International Football Federation (FIFA) has approved the suspension of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) from the organization and extended the suspension of the Zimbabwe Football Federation (ZIFA).
The decision on the results of the vote was taken at the long-awaited 73rd Congress of the world football governing body, on Thursday in Kigali, Rwanda. Close to 2,000 delegates including top football executives from FIFA met in Kigali for the Congress.
The FIFA Congress, the supreme legislative body of FIFA, brings together top executives from FIFA, confederations and representatives from 211-member associations and other football stakeholders.
On Thursday, the FIFA Council recommended that congress participants confirm the temporary suspension of the Sri Lankan football governing body, which was done with 197 FIFA member associations voting in favour of the upholding decision.
As a result, national teams and club teams of the country will not be eligible to participate in international competitions until the suspension decision is reversed. In addition, no member or official of the federation can benefit from FIFA development programmes, courses, or training.
On 21 January 2023, FIFA announced the suspension of FFSL until further notice due to political interference, pursuant to a decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council. The FFSL thereby lost all of its membership rights defined in Article 13 of FIFA Statutes.
Further, the congress cast 199 votes to extend the suspension of ZIFA due to government interference. FIFA first took the decision to suspend ZIFA on 24 February 2022 and was confirmed on 31 March 2022.
The Congress said that as the Zimbabwe federation did not fulfil the request to lift the suspension, which is in violation of FIFA statutes, it recommends reinstating the suspension once again.
Meanwhile, Gianni Infantino was re-elected as the FIFA president until 2027 for a third term, after standing unopposed at the Congress.
The 52-year-old Swiss Italian lawyer was first elected to office in February 2016 and was re-elected in June 2019.
-with inputs from agencies