June 23 – Like the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has issued a warning and request to members to “respect the principle of political neutrality” in football, referring to the current Gulf crisis and the upheaval it could cause in the region’s club and national team competitions.
The AFC already has a number of nations that are unable to play home fixtures due to political disputes or potential safety issues within their countries. The Gulf crisis and the attempts to isolate Qatar politically and economically, overlays a further complexity in the Western Asia region in particular.
Writing to its Member Associations, the AFC stressed that the principle of neutrality “is a cornerstone of both the AFC and of the international sports movement, and is reflected in Article 3.2 of the AFC Statutes, which states: “the AFC is neutral in all matters of politics and religion”.”
The AFC points out that its members are bound by Article 14.4, which says: “Member Associations shall manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties”.
The letter added: “The AFC calls on all stakeholders to respect these fundamental principles moving forward. In this regard, the AFC reiterates Article 6 of the Statutes, which states: “every person and organisation directly or indirectly bound by these statutes must observe these statutes and any regulations, directives, and decisions of the AFC.”
“The AFC will have no hesitation in initiating disciplinary action for any violation of its statutory objectives. Instructions will be provided to appointed AFC match officials to rigorously report any such violations.”
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