Monday, September 25, 2017

No game but Kuwait continues

Last night’s scheduled 2018 World Cup qualifying match between Myanmar and Kuwait was postponed because their federation is suspended from international football for government interference.

Myanmar put up a defensive wall against a South Korean free-kick during last weeks 4-0 defeat.. Photo: AFPMyanmar put up a defensive wall against a South Korean free-kick during last weeks 4-0 defeat.. Photo: AFP

The White Angels were scheduled to play Kuwait in Bangkok in a qualifying group that also acts as a qualifier for the 2019 Asian Cup.

The Kuwait Football Association were banned over a month ago, after their government failed to responded to a FIFA ultimatum.

“The suspension follows the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee during its meeting on 24 and 25 September to give until 15 October 2015 for changes to be made to the sports law of Kuwait,” said a FIFA statement on October 16.

“As a result of this decision, no team from Kuwait of any sort can have any international sporting contact and neither the KFA nor any of its members or officials can benefit from any development programme, course or training from FIFA or the AFC,” it continued.

When a similar issue saw Indonesia’s national footballing body suspended in May, the national side was dumped from World Cup competition. However also at that time, Indonesia’s U23 side were allowed to complete their participatation in the Southeast Asian Games, that was already underway and would complete within a few days. Indonesia remain blacklisted from international football.

Should Kuwait find themselves expelled from the competition then Myanmar – currently sat fourth in their group behind South Korea, Kuwait and Lebanon – will most likely automatically reach the third round of qualification for the 2019 Asian Cup.

That is the reward for a third-place finish, a position Myanmar would most likely occupy in the event of a Kuwaiti disqualification.

While the top five fourth-place finishers will also qualify automatically for the third round as a direct consequence of Indonesia’s suspension, games against the fifth-place team will not count toward the ranking of the fourth-placed teams.

All four of the points currentl amassed by the White Angels have been collected from games against fifth-place Laos.

Gerd Zeise has had a shaky start since he stepped up to the reins of the national side. A 5-0 friendly defeat to Hong Kong was followed by a 4-0 slump to the South Korean side that top their World Cup group.

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Last Updated - 1 April 2017
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