FIFA has suspended Kuwait’s football association over government interference, with immediate effect beginning Friday.
In September, FIFA’s executive committee gave Kuwait an Oct. 15 deadline to make changes to a new sports law that could lead to government interference in the sport's administration. Under terms of the suspension, Kuwaiti teams and clubs are banned from competing internationally, and the association will not be allowed to receive development assistance from FIFA.
Kuwait has been suspended for government interference previously, in 2007 and 2008.
"The suspension will be lifted only when the KFA and its members (the clubs) are able to carry out their activities and obligations independently," FIFA said in a statement.
Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al Ahmad Al Sabah told the Associated Press that his position on the executive committee was unaffected by his federation’s current status.
Kuwait’s national team is in second place behind South Korea in Group G of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. Kuwait plays Myanmar next on Nov. 17. The possibility of the country’s expulsion from the competition reportedly remains.
Kuwait was given an Oct. 27 deadline from the IOC on Monday to resolve its sports law issue, or the country will face suspension from Olympic competition.
- Jeremy Woo