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Sudanese security seizes two sports newspapers

July 10, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Monday has seized copies of Al-Zawiya and Al-Zaem sports newspapers for publishing stories on the ongoing crisis of the Sudan Football Association (SFA).

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Sudan National Football Team (Reuters)

On Friday, the International Federation of Football Associations, FIFA decided to suspended the activities of SFA for the first time since it joined the world football governing body in 1948.

The decision came after a group backed by the government was declared the winner of SFA election, despite FIFA had ordered the suspension of the elections for six months.

Following what, the police evacuated the SFA premises forcefully upon a decree from the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and handed over the building to the winning group, a move that was considered direct government intervention.

On Sunday, the NISS instructed sports newspapers to not publish any stories holding government institutions or public figures responsible for the suspension decision, urging them to calm the situation and help to resolve the crisis.

In a press statement on Monday, the editorial board of Al-Zawiya newspaper said the NISS agents came to the printing house at 1:00 am (local time) on Monday and confiscated the print runs of the sport daily.

It added the seized copies included articles and Op-Eds discussing reasons and consequences of the crisis, calling to take those responsible for the suspension to court including the Youth Secretariat at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

The NISS rarely seizes or suspends social and sports newspapers but it routinely confiscates political newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively on previous issues.

(ST)