Panafrican News Agency

South Sudan to participate in Arab FIFA Cup

Juba, South Sudan (PANA) - The South Sudan national football team is set to participate in the Arab FIFA Cup 2021 after the government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, suspended a ban initially imposed for a breach of protocol.

In May, Dr. Albino Bol, the South Sudanese Minister of Youth and Sports, blamed the national team for reaching a unilateral decision with the organisers of the tournament without consulting the Ministry.

According to the FIFA media outlet, "The ban has been revoked following an apology by the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) to the government for reaching a unilateral agreement with Arab countries to send South Sudan players to Qatar to take part in the tournament without the knowledge of the government."

South Sudan, a member of the East African Community, is taking part in the tournament on invitation from the organisers of the league, predominantly played by Arab countries.

The tournament begins in November 2021, but the preliminary games kick off in June with South Sudan playing Jordan on 21 June, 2021.

“I am hereby announcing that the apology from the SSFA has been accepted and the government has reviewed the previous decision that we have taken. The national team will take part in the match which will take place next week, 21 of June in Qatar,” Dr. Bol said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Mr. Francis Amin, the President of the SSFA, commended the government for lifting the suspension, indicating that his team is ready and would join the rest in the game.

“Human beings learn from their mistakes. I, therefore, officially announce that the South Sudan team will participate and I want to invite the minister to attend the match,” said Mr. Amin.

The Arab FIFA Cup is a prelude tournament hinged on the preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. South Sudan is in Group C of the competition with Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan and Comoros.

-0- PANA VAO/MA 17June2021