Sports News

Guatemala suspended from international football

The facade of the Guatemala's soccer federation (Fedefut) building is pictured in Guatemala City, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Josue Decavele/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Guatemala have been suspended from international football after the federation’s directors refused to recognise a committee set up by FIFA to temporarily run the sport in the country, soccer’s governing body said on Friday.

The decision means that the country’s national team and clubs cannot take part in international competition and the federation cannot receive funds from soccer’s governing body.

FIFA said it intervened in the Guatemalan federation (FEDEFUT) last December, setting up a so-called normalisation committee to run FEDEFUT’s business, organise elections and modernise its statutes.

But FIFA said that the committee was “no longer able to operate” after a FEDEFUT general assembly rejected its mandate on Tuesday. FIFA said that Guatemala had therefore been suspended.

“The suspension will be lifted only once the FEDEFUT general assembly ratifies the extension of the normalisation committee’s mandate until July 31, 2017,” said FIFA.

Guatemala have already been knocked out of the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition. The national side, which has never qualified for a World Cup, is 83rd in the FIFA rankings.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Pritha Sarkar