FIFA sets October deadline to study Bosnia dispute

FIFA sets October deadline to study Bosnia dispute

Published Jul. 19, 2010 10:45 a.m. ET

FIFA expressed regret on Monday at the Bosnia football federation's refusal to reform its presidency but won't immediately decide on sanctions.

Bosnia's national and club teams face possible suspension from international play after the federation refused last Friday to modernize its three-man leadership which is selected along ethnic lines.

Officials from FIFA and European authority UEFA attended the meeting in Sarajevo hoping to see change ''aimed at ensuring better governance'' of football.

''FIFA and UEFA regret that the proposed amendments to the statutes ... were not adopted,'' the FIFA said in a statement. ''The joint report written by FIFA and UEFA will be submitted to the respective executive committees of both bodies to review.''


The UEFA ruling panel next meets Oct. 4-5 in Minsk, Belarus, and FIFA's executive meets Oct. 28-29 in Zurich.

FIFA statutes call for federations to elect their officials in independent polls, or face suspension. Under the terms of a suspension, teams and officials are prevented from taking part in international matches and meetings, and football funding is frozen.

Bosnia is scheduled to begin its qualifying program for the 2012 European Championship in September. It is in Group D with France, Romania, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg.

Bosnia joined FIFA as an independent country in 1996, after a war that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was accepted into UEFA two years later.