FIFA’s bad boys – T&T joins long list of countries falling afoul of football federation laws

By Sports Desk September 24, 2020

The standoff between FIFA and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association  (TTFA) ended with the Caribbean country joining a long list of others suspended after various disputes with their parent association.

Oftentimes, the reasons nations find themselves blacklisted by the sport’s global governing body are many and varied, but the outcome is often the same.

The twin-island republic becomes the second Caribbean nation suspended by FIFA, following in the footsteps of Antigua and Barbuda who were banned in 2003 for one year, after infighting broke out within the association.

In each case, the length of suspension dished out to the associations varies widely, with the ball often in the member association court as to how long it takes to rectify the affair that has caused them to fall afoul of FIFA’s statues in the first place.  The list below features 24 countries that have been suspended in the last 17 years and some of the reasons provided.


List of country’s suspended


Country - Azerbaijan

Date - 15 April 2003 - 23 May 2003

Reason - External pressure, violations of

fundamental principles

Outcome - Parties agreed to respect a FIFA

moderated agreement


Country - Antigua and


Date - 20 May 2003 - 29 June 2005

Reason - Non-specified

Outcome- Suspension lifted after situation

had improved


Country - Guatemala

Date - 9 Jan. 2004 - 17 May 2004

Reason - Governmental interference: FA and

elected FA officials replaced

Outcome - Re-installment of elected FA

leadership, recognition of FAs’



Country - Kenya

Date - 2 June 2004 - 6 Aug. 2004

Reason - Governmental interference: FA

officials replaced due to

mismanagement and fraud

Outcome - Installment of a normalization

committee to improve

transparency and accountability


Country – Macau

Date - 15 Feb. 2005 - 6 March 2005

Reason - Governmental interference:


Outcome - Suspension lifted after



Country -Yemen

Date -12 Aug. 2005 - 9 Nov. 2005

Reason - Governmental interference:


Outcome - Suspension lifted after concessions

by the government


Country - Greece

Date - 3 July 2006 - 12 July 2006

Reason - Governmental interference: National

legislation granting professional

league independence from FA

was not revoked

Outcome - Legislation amended according to

FIFA’s demands


Country - Kenya

Date - 25 Oct. 2006 - 9 March 2007

Reason - Governmental interference:

Non-implementation of

agreements, escalation of

internal conflicts

Outcome - Government agrees to abstain

from further intervention, legal

proceedings are withdrawn,

reinstallation of elected officials


Country – Iran

Date- 23 Nov. 2006 - 20 Dec. 2006

Reason - Governmental interference:

Non-independence of

decision-making and election


Outcome - Implementation of FIFA’s



Country - Kuwait

Date - 29 Oct. 2007 - 20 Dec. 2008

Reason - Governmental interference: FA

officials replaced

Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

after new elections are

announced, reinstallation of

FIFA’s transition committee,

amendment of FA’s statutes


Country - Albania

Date -14 March 2008 - 26 April 2008

Reason - Governmental interference:

Government initiated legal

proceedings against new FA


Outcome - Legal proceedings stopped,

creation of a working-group


Country - Madagascar

Date - 19 March 2008 - 19 May 2008 Governmental interference:

Ministerial decree dissolved FA

Outcome - Madagascan Supreme Court

declared decree null and void,

re-installment of FA


Country - Chad

Date - 28 March 2008 - 7 May 2008

Reason - Governmental interference:

Government replaced FA

officials and intended to hold

new elections

Outcome - Decree revoked, reinstallation of

elected FA officials


Country - Iraq

Date - 26 May 2008 - 29 May 2008

Reason - Governmental interference:

Governmental decree dissolved

all sport organizations

Outcome - Exclusion of FA from dissolution



Country – Ethiopia

Date - 29 July 2008 – July 22 2009

Reason - Governmental interference:

Dismissal of elected officials,

non-compliance with FIFA


Outcome - New leaders elected for the country's soccer federation.


Country – Samoa

Date - 24 Oct. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

Reason -Repeated management problems

Outcome - Resolved


Country - Peru

Date - 25 Nov. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

Reason -Governmental interference:


Outcome- Resolved


Country - Brunei Darussalam

Date -29 Sept. 2009 - 1 June 2011 Governmental interference:

Dissolution of FA and creation

of new government-controlled


Outcome - FIFA’s conditions fulfilled and

statues amended according to

FIFA Statutes


Country - Iraq

Date - 20 Nov. 2009 - 19 March 2010

Reason - Governmental interference: Government

controlled NOC dissolved FA

Outcome - Dissolution of FA withdrawn


Country - El Salvador

Date - 11 May 2010 - 27 May 2010

Reason - Governmental interference: Government

did not accept FIFA’s normalization

committee and new FA statutes

Outcome - Legitimacy of normalization

committee and new statutes



Country – Nigeria

Date - 4 Oct. 2010 - 8 Oct. 2010

Reason - Governmental interference: Court actions

against FA officials, government

forced resignation of officials,

government started league without

relegation from previous season

Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

after claimant withdrew legal

actions and FA leadership and

FA control over league were



Country – Bosnia

Date -1 April 2011 1 - Jun 2011

 Reason - Mismanagement due to ethnic


Outcome - FA statutes amended according to

FIFA’s demands


Country - Belize

17 June 2011 7- July 2011

Reason - Failure of government to provide

security for national team matches

Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

due to positive developments,

match played outside Belize


Country – Cameroon

Date - 4 July 2013 - 22 July 2013

Reason - Governmental interference: Government refused to accept results of FA


Outcome - New elections organized, finally

reinstallation of elected FA officials


Country – Nigeria  

Jul 9, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014

Reason – Government interference:

Court proceedings and an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF executive committee members, and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football

Outcome – Orders rescinded


Country – Kuwait

Date - Oct 16, 2015 - Dec 6, 2017

Reason – Government interference

Outcome – Gulf state's parliament adopted a law meant to end government interference in the sport.


Country - Guatemala

Date – Oct 28, 2016 - May 31, 2018

Reason – Government interference: Local authorities had intervened with Normalisation Committee

Outcome – Normalisation Committee recognized


Country - Sierra Leone

Date - Oct 5, 2018 - Jun 3, 2019

Reason - Government interference.

Third-party interference in the running of the country's FA.

Outcome – Resolved


Country – Trinidad and Tobago

Date – September 24, 2020 – Unknown

Reason – Refusal to acknowledge normalisation committee by the previous board.  Issue was taken to High Court.

Outcome - Unknown


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