FIFA appoints committee to solve Bosnia problems

ZURICH - FIFA appointed a six-man committee on Tuesday to run Bosnian football on an interim basis and try to solve the problems which led to the country being suspended from international football at the start of the month.

The so-called normalisation committee will attempt to bring the Bosnian federation into line with the statutes of football's ruling body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA and oversee the election of a new executive committee by the end of November.

"After discussions with various stakeholders and following consultation with UEFA, a six-person normalisation committee with football personalities from Bosnia-Herzegovina has been established and put in place," said FIFA in a statement.

"The normalisation committee acts immediately as the Bosnia football federation executive committee."

Bosnia was suspended on April 1 after the federation (NFSBiH) failed to end its three-man inter-ethnic presidency which is out of line with the statutes of both ruling organisations.

The NFSBiH, formed after the 1992-95 Bosnian war ended and the country was divided into two ethnically divided regions, has been run by a three-man presidency whose members are chosen on ethnic rather than professional criteria.

A Serb, a Croat and an ethnic Muslim hold the post for 18 months each under a rotational system.

The ban means Bosnia cannot play international matches - including Euro 2012 qualifiers - and the country's clubs cannot take part in European competition or sell players abroad.


FIFA said the committee's first task would be to prepare an ordinary general assembly and adopt new statutes by May 26 at the latest, a process from which the NFSBiH leadership must be excluded.

"(The committee must) ensure that all connections or relationships with any members of the "former" NFSBiH leadership are cut immediately with regard to the decision-making in financial, administrative, sporting and other matters," said FIFA.

Once this stage has been completed, FIFA and UEFA could consider lifting the suspension.

A new executive committee would then have to be elected by November 30 at the latest.

"This normalisation committee has taken over all statutory rights and duties of the NFSBiH executive committee as well as of the presidency," said FIFA.

"The mandate of the normalisation committee will expire after new executive committee elections have been held according to the newly-adopted statutes."

Bosnia are fourth in Euro qualifying Group D, five points behind leaders France and a point behind Belarus and Albania but with a game in hand on all three.

Their next games are away to Romania on June 3 and at home to Albania four days later.