Yemen bid to host internationals rejected by FIFA
PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (AP) — The FIFA executive committee cited “security reasons” on Tuesday for rejecting an application by the Yemen Football Association to have a ban lifted on internationals and friendlies in the country.
Yemen has been forced to play World Cup qualifiers and other internationals away from home since 2011 following ongoing political protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
FIFA has previously suspended the Yemen federation for political interference in its national football body.
Football’s governing body at its pre-congress meeting also confirmed the dates this year for the Gold Cup, the main tournament involving CONCACAF national teams. The two-yearly event will run from July 7-28 in 2013.
An application by Switzerland to play its domestic cup final next year on May 25 was allowed, provided no international players selected for the World Cup took part. The date falls within FIFA’s rest period ahead of the World Cup in Brazil from June 12 to July 13.
The committee also appointed new South American football president Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay as the chairman of the 2014 World Cup organizing committee.
Figueredo took over as head of CONMEBOL last month from Nicolas Leoz, who resigned citing ill health before a FIFA ethics court ruling found that he — along with ex-FIFA President Joao Havelange and his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira — accepted bribes from the sport marketing company ISL in the 1990s.
Figueredo also took Leoz’s place on FIFA’s executive committee and attended his first meeting Tuesday, along with newly elected Asian Football Confederation President Sheik Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain and U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati, who replaced fellow American Chuck Blazer.
FIFA’s executive said it has received bids to host the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 from Bahrain, France, South Korea, Mexico, Poland, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia and Ukraine. There were bids from India, Ireland, South Africa and Uzbekistan for the 2017 under-17 World Cup.
Norway, Ireland and South Africa are bidding for the 2016 Under-20 Women’s World Cup; while Bahrain, Jordan, Ireland and South Africa have applied to stage the 2016 Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
The hosts for those four tournaments will be chosen in December.