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December 13, 2008

Peru announce breakthrough over FIFA ban

The Peruvian Football Federation hope to have a FIFA ban prohibiting them from playing in all international competitions lifted after announcing they had reached a key agreement with the country's government.

The world governing body decided to impose the ban last month after Peru's Institute of Sports (IPD) refused to recognise the election of FPF president Manuel Burga.

FIFA does not allow government interference in the running of national associations and as a result suspended Peru from all competitions, giving them a month to resolve the issue.

Such a resolution now looks to have been achieved inside that time frame, although the IPD and FPF today refused to unveil the points of their agreement.

Instead a brief statement read: "The details (of the agreement) will see public light when FIFA give their answer, which we hope to be positive."

Burga provided some clarity regarding the situation, confirming an agreement had been reached - the details of which he said have been sent to FIFA ahead of the December 20 meeting when a final decision is expected to be made.

"There were moments of tension, but we reached and agreement," Burga said.

"We have sent the document to FIFA so they can see that we have been looking for a solution through the dialogue.

"I believe that on December 20, we will get a positive reply from FIFA and at that time we will have the final decision to solve our current problem definitely.

"The document will be published when FIFA approves it. We have put all our efforts into reaching this stage."

IPD president Arturo Woodman was, however, cautious of forecasting the current resolution would lead to a lifting of the current ban.

While Woodman admitted that the letter to FIFA was a "positive step" in lifting the ban, he believes there are still some issues that must be worked through between the two parties.

"We have taken a positive step towards solving the reasons for FIFA's ban," he said.

"We have compromised to work things out as fast as we can."

He added a note of caution, however, saying: "It still remains that this committee has to clear up all their differences and clarify the future of Peruvian football."

Woodman had derided FIFA's decision to impose the ban last month as a misguided act, adding the best interests of football in Peru had been overlooked.

He said: "The decision FIFA made means that instead of supporting the development of Peruvian football, they have sacrificed a whole country to defend one person.

"The FPF cannot be officially accepted because it was not accepted in the public register. They cannot sign any document in this country."

FIFA's ban has already seen Peru lose the hosting rights to the South America Under-20 championship.