COLOMBO: Football’s governing body FIFA has suspended Sri Lanka’s national federation, it said Sunday, a month after issuing it with a “red notice” over governance issues.

That warning came after the Ministry of Sports introduced a raft of regulations that reportedly compromised the autonomy and independence of nati­onal sports bodies, including the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL).

This month the FFSL held an election, which reportedly fell short of stan­dards agreed upon with FIFA and the Asian Foot­ball Confederation (AFC), in which an ally of the sports minister became chair.

In a letter Sunday, FIFA said the FFSL was suspended “until further notice”.

The suspension prevents Sri Lanka — which is in the midst of a major economic crisis, blamed partly on corruption — from taking part in international competitions.

Sri Lanka’s men’s team are ranked 207th in the world, and the women’s 155th.

Published in Dawn, January 23th, 2023

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