South Sudan seeking fast track to international recognition

Posted: September 7, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By David Gold

Nicholas_Musonye_07-09-11September 7 – Zanzibar and South Sudan have applied to join FIFA, with the Council of East and Central Africa’s Football Association (CECAFA) helping to fast track their applications.

FIFA has previously rejected an application from Zanzibar on the basis that it lacks sovereignty.

Zanzibar is a semi autonomous part of Tanzania, and has its own Government, with these being cited by FIFA as the reasons for its initial rejection.

Mzee Zam Ali, the Zanzibar Football Association (ZFA) secretary general, has asked the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports to continue fighting to gain membership in FIFA.

"It’s true we have received official communication from FIFA secretary general notifying us of the collapse of our membership bid," Ali said.

"But this is not the end of the road as the Ministry should strengthen cooperation with ZFA in search of the membership card from FIFA."

South Sudan on the other hand should have a smoother path to recognition, but they face a two-year wait to participate in international competitions.

Nevertheless, Nicholas Musonye (pictured), secretary general of CECAFA, is keen to welcome the Sudanese into his organisation and wants the country to be allowed to compete in FIFA competitions earlier than this.

"The rules are very clear; it takes two years for a new member to be accepted but we can always push for special dispensation," Musonye said.

"We are excited at the prospect of having a new member in our stable."

Hassan Abu Jamal, executive secretary general of the Sudan Football Association (SFA), sees soccer as a unifying factor and a vehicle to lift the people’s morale.

"The game will help build national identity in South Sudan, strengthen national unity and overcome ethnic tensions," he said.

"We know we will get that help; and if it means waiting two years before we can play in international competitions, we are ready."

South Sudan became a new country and a member of the United Nations in July this year after voting to split from Sudan following a bloody civil war that resulted in the deaths of roughly two million people.

Contact the writer of this story at–zanzibar-and-south-sudan-seeking-fast-track-to-international-recognition

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