FIFA has suspended the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) “with immediate effect” after it failed to make changes to sporting law within the country.
The FIFA Executive Committee wrote to the KFA last month voicing its concern over the government’s level of influence within the organisation and calling for it to avoid implementing a new sporting law.
The decision means neither domestic nor international sides can take part in any matches until the sanction is lifted.
A FIFA statement read: “Today, 16 October 2015, the Kuwait Football Association has been suspended with immediate effect. The suspension follows the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee during its meeting on 24 and 25 September to give until 15 October 2015 for changes to be made to the sports law of Kuwait.
“The suspension will be lifted only when the KFA and its members (the clubs) are able to carry out their activities and obligations independently.
“As a result of this decision, no team from Kuwait of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes), and neither the KFA nor any of its members or officials can benefit from any development programme, course or training from FIFA or the AFC.”
Kuwait had enjoyed a strong start to their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup, having taken 10 points from their opening five games in the second round of the Asian section.
They have twice been given a similar ban in 2007 and 2008, while Indonesia were hit with a suspension in May which ruled them out of competing in the World Cup qualifiers, yet domestic clubs had issued a statement earlier this month saying they supported the new regulations being administered by the Kuwaiti authorities.
Kuwait is home to powerful sports broker Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a member of the International Olympic Committee and the FIFA Executive Committee, who had been tipped as a potential successor to president Sepp Blatter.
FIFA has also confirmed that the executive committee of Thailand’s Football Association (FAT) has been replaced by a normalisation committee following the 90-day suspension of president Worawi Makudi.
The new body’s functions “will include revising the FAT electoral code and conducting the election of a new FAT executive committee by 15 February 2016 at the latest”.