ISSN 2330-717X

Bosnia Football Suspended From International Play


By Eldin Hadzovic

Bosnia’s Football federation has been suspended from international competition after failing to do away with its ethnic presidency.

The country’s football federation, NFSBiH, has been suspended until further notice by FIFA and UEFA, football’s governing bodies, after the association failed to adopt a required statute to change its management structure.

“Consequently, the NSBiH loses all its membership rights with immediate effect and until further notice,” reads the official UEFA and FIFA statement, released on Friday.

The NFSBiH representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions as of 1 April 2011 and until the aforementioned problem is solved.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina

This also means that, starting today, no NSBiH official or representative may participate in any international match or event, UEFA and FIFA stated.

At the Bosnian Soccer Federation’s meeting on Tuesday, members of the Federation failed to adopt changes to its management structure requested by FIFA and UEFA.

They had demanded that Bosnian football replace its three-member presidency – made up of a Bosniak, a Croat and a Serb – with a single president by March 31 or face exclusion from the bodies.

The international governing bodies are expected to appoint an international administrator to set up a new umbrella organisation for the country’s football teams.

Some Bosnian media have speculated that former Denmark striker Allan Hansen may be chosen as the chairman of the compulsory government of Bosnian soccer.

According to media sources, Hansen, who is a member of the Executive Committee of UEFA, together with Rudi Zavrl, a FIFA and UEFA observer and the former president of the Football Association of Slovenia, will take over the so-called “Normalization Committee”, after a meeting today in Zurich.

Meanwhile, BH Fanaticos, supporters of Bosnia’s national team, announced a mass protest in front of the headquarters of the Soccer Federation in Sarajevo today at noon, in support of UEFA’s emergency rule.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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