Only yesterday it was announced that the India Under-17 national team in preparation for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup would host Mali in Mumbai for a two match series on April 6 and 9, but the matches had to be cancelled today after Mali was suspended by world football governing body FIFA.
In a press release FIFA said, “The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided to suspend the Malian Football Association (FEMAFOOT) with immediate effect as of Friday 17 March 2017, and until further notice as a result of government interference.
The decision was prompted by the actions of the Sports Minister of Mali, Mr Housseïni Amion Guindo, who decided to dissolve the executive committee of FEMAFOOT and appoint a provisional committee mandated to run the association and to facilitate the election of a new executive committee within twelve months, despite an earlier clarification from FIFA that FEMAFOOT is obliged under art, 14, par 1 let. I and art. 19 of the FIFA Statutes to manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.
The suspension will be lifted once ministerial decisions are nullified and the executive committee of FEMAFOOT and its president, Boubacar Baba Diarra, is reinstated.
As a result of this decision, FEMAFOOT loses all its membership rights as specified in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect and until further notice. No team from Mali of any sort (including clubs) can take part in international competitions as of 17 March 2017 and until the suspension is lifted. This also means that, as of 17 March 2017, neither FEMAFOOT nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programme, course or training from FIFA or the Confederation of African Football (CAF).