By Staff writer
FIFA suspended the Kuwait’s FA in October this year because of gov't interference in its running
FIFA has blocked footballing legends Steven Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo and Xavi Hernandez from playing in a friendly match in Kuwait because of the country’s ban from international soccer.
FIFA suspended the Kuwait’s football association in October this year because of government interference in the running of the KFA.
As well as being excluded from international competitions, the ban also precludes players who are registered with clubs from taking part in the upcoming Football Champions Tour match in Kuwait on Friday.
Pirlo and Gerrard, who play in New York and LA in the Major League Soccer, and Xavi, who plays with Qatar side Al Sadd, have all been told they cannot play in the friendly match.
“Such principle is, of course, also to be followed at all sporting levels involving football in the territory of the state of Kuwait,” FIFA acting secretary general Markus Kattner wrote to member associations last week, according to an AP report.
The legends match, which takes in Jaber Stadium opening on December 18, will feature playes like Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes, and Carles Puyol.
Kuwait was also banned twice for government interference in 2007 and 2008 and the current suspension could have ramifications for the February election that will decide the new president of world soccer's governing body.
The emirate is home to influential sports power broker Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who has been unable to resolve the dispute.
He is a former oil minister, honorary president of the KFA, a FIFA executive committee member and president of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
Sheikh Ahmad carries significant sway in the 47-member Asian Football Confederation.