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Friday, August 12, 2016

Malaysia stripped of right to hold 2017 Fifa Congress

Malaysia has been stripped of its right to hold the International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) Congress set to be held next year.

This comes after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) failed to provide a guarantee that visas would be issued to all delegates to the congress.

The congress is seen as an important event as it is set to include a bidding process to hold the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

FAM is currently mum on the matter and is expected to make an announcement after its executive committee meeting, slated to be held on Monday.

Malaysia obtained the right to hold the congress in December 2013.

Among reasons for withdrawing Malaysia’s right to hold the congress is the difficulty of delegates from countries, such as Israel, to obtain entry visas.

Previously, citizens from Israel were not allowed to enter Malaysia. However, after May 2011 they were allowed to do so, but must first obtain a visa.

The latest high-profile incident involving the denial of visas to Israelis was in December last year.

Two Israeli windsurfers were denied visas and thus they could not participate in the Youth Sailing World Championship.

Apart from this, football pundits also believe that Fifa’s decision was influenced by issues plaguing the national football association as of late.

Last month, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim claimed that he had in possession damning information related to FAM.

Malaysiakini has contacted FAM’s response on the withdrawal of its right to host the Fifa Congress and is awaiting its response on the matter.

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