FIFA suspends Mali teams, officials for government meddling

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ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says it has suspended Mali's teams and officials from international soccer because of government interference in how the federation is run.

Mali's World Cup qualifying program will not be immediately affected. Its next match is Aug. 28 at Morocco.

Both Malian teams in the 2017 African Champions League were already eliminated.

FIFA says it acted after Mali's sports minister "decided to dissolve the executive committee" of the national soccer federation.

FIFA rules protect the independence of elected soccer officials from political intervention.

FIFA will lift the suspension "once ministerial decisions are nullified and the executive committee of FEMAFOOT and its president, Boubacar Baba Diarra, is reinstated."

Mali was suspended one day after voting in the Confederation of African Football presidential election. Ahmad of Madagascar ousted Issa Hayatou of Cameroon.

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