West News Wire: According to FIFA, the world’s governing body of football, Tunisia runs the possibility of being disqualified from the upcoming Qatar 2022 World Cup in November if the North African nation’s government meddles in football-related activities.
FIFA issued a warning after Kamel Deguiche, the minister of youth and sports for Tunisia, repeatedly mentioned the possibility of “dissolving federal bureaux.”
Deguiche’s comments were interpreted by FIFA as an attempt to influence with the management of the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF). It has threatened to disband the FTF’s office while requesting information from the organisation regarding any attempts by the Tunisian government to meddle in its business.
FIFA has also reminded the FTF that its member associations are “must by law to manage their business independently and free from undue interference from external parties.”
“Any failure to comply with these obligations may result in the imposition of penalties under the FIFA laws, including suspension of the relevant association,” read a letter from Kenny Jean-Marie, who is FIFA’s director of member associations, to the FTF’s general secretary Wajdi Aouadi.
Any ban on the FTF from FIFA would mean that no Tunisian clubs or national teams are allowed to play in international competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations or the World Cup.
FIFA has demanded that the FTF reply to its request no later than Friday. The organization has faced other serious accusations in recent times, with club side Chebba claiming that FTF president Wadie Jary knowingly misled the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in April 2021 before the Swiss-based authority ruled in Chebba’s favor.
Chebba were suspended for one year and relegated to the country’s fourth division after “failing to register on time” for the 2020-2021 season”. Before the ruling was overturned, the controversy became a national topic of conversation in Tunisian society.
Known as the Carthage Eagles, Tunisia have never been past the group stage in five appearances at the World Cup and face the champions France, Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark, and Australia in Group D. They begin their Qatar 2022 campaign against Denmark on November 22.