July 25, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The head of Sudan football association Kamal Shaddad pledged to continue fighting to secure his right to run again for re-election despite government saying that he is not allowed to.
- Kamal Shaddad, head of Sudan football association
A challenge was made by the chief of a local football association against Shaddad saying that the latter cannot run for a third term unless he holds a position in an international football position which is not the case.
The federal commission for the bodies and youth associations ruled in favour of the challenge citing Article 16(3) of the Youth and Sports law and excluded Shaddad from the race.
However, Shaddad speaking at a press conference rejected the decision and threatened to escalate the matter to the Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) saying that he is enjoying wide support among sports club across the country.
He further accused the commission which ruled against him of seeking to undermine the independence of the Sudan football association. Moreover, Shaddad slammed the "excessive" nomination fee which was originally set at 25,000 Sudanese pounds (about $10,000) before being reduced to 10,000 pounds (about $4,000).
On Saturday FIFA warned the Sudanese football association that the country could be suspended or banned for if government intervention continues.
"Any election without respecting the SFA [Sudanese Football Association] statutes and/or under governmental interference will not be recognised by FIFA," FIFA said in the statement.
The Sudan Sports Commission has also imposed what FIFA calls "a prohibitive fee" that candidates must pay and FIFA said that it "considers these decisions as unacceptable."
"Such interference may lead to sanctions such as suspension or expulsion" FIFA said.
The head of the Sudanese Sports Commission, Al-Rayah Wadatallah, told Reuters the decision to bar Shaddad was in line with Sudanese law which says a candidate cannot run for a third term unless he held an international football job recognised by the sports ministry. He said Shaddad did not hold such a post.
"Sudanese national law is in accordance with FIFA law," said Wadatallah.
In the past world governing body FIFA has banned nations for international football due to political interference. FIFA has a range of possible punishments if it does decide to sanction Sudanese football, not just suspension.
Nigeria faced a similar threat when President Goodluck Jonathan said he would withdraw the team from international football for two years, before backing down.
And Kenya and Guinea have been suspended in the past for government interference in football.
Sudan has never made to the world cup and have qualified for the African Cup of Nations just once in three decades. It ranks 121 on the FIFA ranking of soccer teams worldwide.
The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir pledged to support soccer teams in his country so that they make it to FIFA world cup finals and win it.