FIFA suspend Kuwait for governmental meddling

October 30, 2007

BANGKOK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Soccer's world governing body FIFA has suspended Kuwait from all international matches because of governmental interference in the national game.

The suspension could rule the Gulf state out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, qualifiers for which resume in two weeks.

Kuwait held elections for key posts in the country's soccer federation on Oct. 9 but FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) refused to recognise the polls.

FIFA said Kuwait had ignored the two bodies' 'road map' requiring them to set up an interim board to organise fresh elections and draft new guidelines to prevent governmental interference in the game.

Kuwait, who won the Asian Cup in 1980 and reached the World Cup finals two years later, were due to start their World Cup qualifying campaign in next month's second round.

The nine-times Gulf Cup champions were given a first-round bye following Bhutan's withdrawal.