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FIFA suspends Sudan for ‘government interference’

FIFA said Friday 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 June 27, 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 June 2 after a decree from the Sudanese government.

On June 27 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.

Meanwhile, Nigerian international goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who plays for second tier English side Wolverhampton Wanderers has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, the club announced.

The 31-year-old England-born goalkeeper capped 10 times returned “abnormal blood tests” during pre-season testing and further checks confirmed the diagnosis. -AFP

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