Zurich — Steven Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo and Xavi Hernandez
have been stopped from playing in a friendly in Kuwait because of the Gulf
nation's ban from international soccer.
Kuwait was suspended by FIFA in October because of
government interference, a case which threatens the country's place in World
The ban from international competitions extends to active
players registered with clubs from taking part in the Football Champions Tour
friendly in Kuwait on Friday against a local all-star team.
Organizers said Pirlo and Gerrard, who play in Major League
Soccer, as well as Qatar-based Xavi are no longer able to participate.
Also read: Kuwait set to appoint Tunisian as coach
"Such principle is, of course, also to be followed at
all sporting levels involving football in the territory of the state of
Kuwait," FIFA acting secretary general Markus Kattner wrote to member
associations last week.
On Tuesday, the FIFA disciplinary committee will consider
sanctions for Kuwait for failing to fulfill a World Cup qualifier against
Myanmar last month after it was banned. The ruling is not expected this week.
The International Olympic Committee has also suspended
Kuwait, risking its athletes' chances of qualifying and competing at the 2016
Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Kuwait's top sports official, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah
— a FIFA executive committee member and head of the ANOC group of national
Olympic bodies — has been unable to resolve the dispute.For
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