FIFA Suspends Guatemalan Federation Over Political Interference

CONCACAF

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

FIFA will suspend the Guatemalan Football Federation amidst political interference from local officials, according to BBC.

Should the ban take effect, the Guatemalan national team and all club teams would be excluded from FIFA competitions — although FIFA official Primo Corvaro said that the ban might not take effect immediately.

“It is a very serious situation,” said Primo Corvaro. “Financial support will end, as will as training courses.”

FIFA is accusing local authorities with undermining an appointed committee in place to run the country’s game following a scandal with Fedefut president Brayan Jimenez. The confusion began back in July when Jimenez pled guilty to racketeering charges after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to award marketing rights to a Florida-based company for World Cup Qualifier marketing rights.

In the meantime, FIFA stepped in quickly after the arrest and set up a committee to run the federation. However, last week the committee was suspended after sports regulators claimed proper procedures were not used when investigating players sanctioned for doping.

Guatemala has already been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup but has several teams competing in the CONCACAF Champions League. What will happen to these sides remains to be seen.