FIFA does last minute deal on Mali to keep them in AFCON 2019

June 17 – The threat of another damaging FIFA suspension that would have seen them thrown them out of the forthcoming African Cup of Nations has been avoided in the nick of time by Mali after it agreed to implement fresh statutes.

The Federation of Malian Football (Femafoot), mired in crisis for several years and briefly suspended by FIFA in 2017 because of government interference, is reported to have agreed to adopt requirements demanded by a normalisation committee that has been running the day-to-day affairs of the federation.

The committee’s mandate apparently expires on August 31 and local reports said an agreement was finally reached at the weekend, after 14 hours of talks, to hold an elective general assembly within two months  to appoint a new FA president amid the growing likelihood of another suspension.

Had that happened, AFCON would have been reduced to 23 teams with all the subsequent confusion.

The weekend meeting was held in the presence of both FIFA’s director of development for Africa and the Caribbean, Veron Mosengo-Omba, and Antonio Souaré, president of the Guinean Football Federation representing the Confederation of African Football.

Afterwards, Mali’s Minister of Sports announced the resumption of the national championship, which has been in limbo since November 2017 because of the internal meltdown.

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