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9.1.04 - The FIFA Emergency Committee today suspended the Federación de Fútbol de Guatemala (FEDEFUTBOL) as a result of governmental interference in the affairs of the federation, which constitutes a violation of the general organisational principles and Statutes of FIFA.

On 23 December 2003, the Guatemala Autonomous Sports Confederation, a body of the Guatemalan Government, decided not only to take control of the FEDEFUTBOL headquarters (which had been financed by the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme), but also to prevent President José Mauricio Caballeros and members of the FEDEFUTBOL Executive Committee and its administration from gaining access to the federation’s headquarters and technical centre (built under the auspices of the FIFA Goal Programme), and to appoint a normalisation committee, thereby revoking the mandate of President Caballeros, who had been re-elected for a further four years in September 2003.

In accordance with its regulations, FIFA has therefore decided to suspend the Guatemala Football Federation until order can be re-established in the federation’s internal affairs, the President and Executive Committee are reinstated and unimpeded access to the federation’s premises is restored.

As a result of this suspension, FEDEFUTBOL clubs and representative teams are no longer allowed to participate in friendly or competitive matches on the international stage.

This suspension also applies to the Preliminary Competition of the Olympic Football Tournaments Athens 2004, with the Guatemalan Women’s National Team due to play its final qualifying matches in Costa Rica next month, as well as to the Preliminary Competition of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, in which Guatemala were due to meet the winners of the Aruba-Surinam tie in June 2004. Furthermore, all FIFA financial assistance payments have been frozen and FEDEFUTBOL has been deprived of its right to vote at Congresses held by international football bodies.
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