Home | News    Thursday 29 May 2008

Chad refuses to send its soccer team to Sudan

May 28, 2008 (PARIS) — The Chadian soccer team will not travel to Khartoum next Saturday to compete against the Sudanese team in the playoff game for 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers, the Chadian government announced.

Last week the FIFA said that Sudan’s 2010 World Cup qualifier against Chad will go ahead as scheduled on May 31st, despite the current tension between the two countries. Sudan and Chad are in Group 10 of the joint 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers, along with Mali and Congo.

However the official website of the Chadian presidency said that its football team would not go to Sudan. In a French language wire, the Agence France Press reported that Chad declined to play the match for security reasons.

"The Chadian government believes that security assurances given by the Sudanese government to the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) are not convincing, hence, the Chadian government refuses to send players to Khartoum for security reasons" a Chadian source said.

Following a foiled attack against the Sudanese government in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum on May 10, President al-Bashir severed unilaterally diplomatic relations with Chad, charging N’djamena of supporting the rebel coup.

In a speech before the Chadian parliament on May 20, the Chadian President Idriss Deby told the lawmakers that Sudan was a threat against all the Chadians.

The Chadian government had seized the FIFA requesting that the match is played on neutral ground or be postponed.

The FIFA informed Chad that the match should be played as scheduled in Khartoum, noting that Sudan had promised to secure the Chadian delegation.

(ST)