Tunisia may be barred from the World Cup over political interference concerns

FIFA has cautioned Tunisia that they may be dropped from the upcoming World Cup in Qatar if the government intervenes in football affairs.

According to football’s world governing body, the warning comes after several statements from Tunisia’s youth and sports minister, Kamel Deguiche, about the possibility of “dissolving federal bureaux.”

The BBC report says that Deguiche has recently urged the FTF, the country’s football federation, to postpone the domestic league and review kick-off dates.

According to the British broadcaster, Fifa believes that Deguiche’s remarks were an attempt to interfere in the FTF’s operations, and requested the latter for information about attempts to interfere in its internal affairs and plans to shut down its office.

Fifa has reminded the FTF that member associations are “legally obligated to conduct their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties”.

Fifa’s director of member associations, Kenny Jean-Marie, warned Wajdi Aouadi, the general secretary of the FTF, that disciplinary action might be taken if the FTF did not honour its commitments.

The Zurich-based organisation must be independent of legal and political interference from its member federations.

It would prohibit either Tunisian club or national teams from participating in either continental or global tournaments.

According to the BBC, Fifa has given the FTF no later than Friday to reply concerning Deguiche’s statements.

The FTF has been embroiled in controversies in the past, with Tunisian club Chebba charging it and its president, Wadie Jary, of deceiving the Court of Arbitration for Sport in April 2021. The court, however, later concluded that the club was not misled.

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