Gulf Cup to Wait for Kuwait Until Nov 30

Published November 17th, 2017 - 11:13 GMT
Kuwait Football Association headquarters
Kuwait Football Association headquarters

The Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation (AGCFF) on Thursday set November 30 as the deadline for Kuwait to confirm their participation in the 23rd Gulf Cup comeptition.

The event will have to be postponed if Kuwait is unable to have its suspension lifted by FIFA by the deadline, AGCFF decided at its meeting here.

The Gulf Cup organisers have deemed Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to have "withdrawn" from the tournament after they failed to respond to a November 13 deadline to say whether they would take part in the tournament in Qatar.

In September the three nations boycotted the draw in Doha as part of the political standoff that has spilled over into football.

The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al Thani, President of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation (AGCFF) General Secretary Jassim al Rumaihi and representatives from Yemen, Oman, Iraq and Kuwait were present.

Rumaihi told the media that "the withdrawal of of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE from the tournament was confirmed after they didn't respond to the letter inviting them to take part in the tournamant."

He added that the tournament would be postponed in case the suspension of the Kuwaiti federation wasn't lifted, adding that Qatar Football Association will then have to send a specific date for the championship to the Gulf federation to endorse it by the general assembly.

Rumaihi said that there are positive signs regarding the lifting of the suspension on the Kuwaiti federation, hoping that it will happen before the end of the deadline of Nov. 30. If the suspension is lifted before that date, the tournament will be staged as scheduled, he said."Lifting the suspension of Kuwait means the tournament takes place on time. Otherwise, it will be postponed," Al Rumaihi said, adding that the latter is a scenario that "we don't hope for at all."

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti clubs recently elected the head of a new football federation that hopes to gain recognition from FIFA and get the suspension that has been in place since 2015 over alleged government intereference lifted.

The tournament is scheduled to be held from December 22 - January 8.

Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait and Yemen are the other teams participating.

By Ikoli Victor

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