Kuwait’s World Cup qualifying clash in South Korea has been cancelled as the Gulf country remains suspended by world governing body FIFA.
The two countries were due to meet in Group G at the Daegu World Cup Stadium on March 29, in what would have been the last match of the round.
However, the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) were temporarily banned by FIFA in October because of alleged Government interference.
The decision by football’s world governing body followed Kuwait’s suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who acted after a new sports law was passed in the country.
It was claimed by the IOC that the new law threatened the autonomy of sports bodies and federations.
Now, the Korean Football Association (KFA) has confirmed that their match with Kuwait has been cancelled, although the country have already reached the next stage as they have an unassailable eight point lead at the top of the group.
Kuwait, who are second in the group, could still technically advance as one of the best runners-up in the unlikely event they are allowed to play.
Their match with South Korea is listed as “postponed” on FIFA’s website but their penultimate group fixture at home to Laos, which is scheduled for March 24, is still listed as going ahead.
It seems likely, though, that this match will be cancelled too.
Neither game would be rearranged with South Korea and Laos awarded 3-0 victories.
The Kuwaitis have already been forced to forfeit their away trip to Myanmar in November because of the sanctions against them.
They were fined CHF10,000 (£7,000/$9,900/€9,000) by FIFA for failing to fulfill the fixture.
A string of other sporting bodies suspended Kuwait following the IOC’s action.
The country were also banned from voting at last month’s FIFA Presidential election in Zurich, with the row threatening the country’s participation at August’s Rio Olympics.
The current ban is their second for supposed government interference.
Last month it was revealed that the Kuwaiti Government is planning a “world tour” to convince bodies like the IOC and FIFA to lift the sanctions against them.
- By Dan Palmer
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz