FIFA have warned Tunisia that they are at risk of being expelled from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar if the country’s government interferes in football matters.
The warning from the world governing body comes after several comments from Tunisia’s Youth and Sports Minister, Kamel Deguiche about the possibility of ‘dissolving federal bureaux’, according to BBC Sport.
Member federations within FIFA are required to operate without any legal and political interference.
FIFA considers the statements of Deguiche as attempts to get involved in the running of the Tunisian football federation (FTF) and has asked the federation for clarity about attempts to interfere in its internal affairs, along with the warning about dissolving its office.
FIFA have also reminded the FTF that its member associations are ‘legally obligated to conduct their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties’.
‘Any failure to comply with these obligations may result in the imposition of penalties under the FIFA laws, including suspension of the relevant association,’ said a letter from Kenny Jean-Marie, FIFA’s director of member associations, to the general secretary of the FTF, Wajdi Aouadi.
FIFA has set a deadline of Friday October 28, for the FTF to reply clarifying its position after the comments of the minister.
If the FTF receives sanctions from FIFA, it would mean no Tunisian club could compete in continental or international competitions, and it would also mean that Tunisia would be expelled from the World Cup.
Tunisia are in Group D at the tournament and faces France, Denmark, and Australia in Qatar.