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Page last updated at 19:05 GMT, Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Madagascar banned by Fifa

Madagascar flag
Madagascar will miss out on World Cup qualifiers, unless the row is resolved

Madagascar has been hit with a worldwide ban by football's governing body, Fifa.

The move comes because the government has dissolved the country's football federation (the FMF) and ordered fresh elections.

That action was upheld by the Malagasy Supreme Court on Wednesday, when it rejected an FMF appeal against the move.

Fifa waited until the outcome of that appeal before imposing its ban.

The governing body does not allow government interference in footballing matters.

Malagasy Sports minister Patrick Ramiaramanana sacked the entire management committee of the FMF last week and announced fresh elections.

Fifa Headquarters
Fifa does not allow government interference
But Fifa says any new organisation, and any decisions it takes, will not be recognised.

The catalyst for the dissolution of the management committee was the last-minute cancellation of a Champions League match earlier this year.

Fans clashed with police after the cancellation of Ajesaia's tie against Costa do Sol of Mozambique.

Following an investigation into the incident - caused by the non-arrival of one match official - the government blamed the Malagasy FF and announced fresh elections in three months.

The move threatens Madagascar's participation in the forthcoming qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations.

They are due to play Botswana at the end of May, followed by matches against Mozambique and Ivory Coast.

see also
Fifa defers Madagascar deadline
18 Mar 08 |  African
Minister dissolves Malagasy FA
11 Mar 08 |  African

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