Azerbaijan embargo ends
Thursday, 22 May 2003
UEFA has lifted the suspension of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan.
League football resumed
The decision, subject to FIFA formally lifting its suspension of the AFFA, means that Azerbaijan's EURO 2004™ qualifying match at home to Serbia and Montenegro in Group 9 will go ahead as scheduled on 11 June. The Executive Committee said that the conditions set out by UEFA when the suspension was imposed in April have now been met. It noted in particular that league football had resumed in Azerbaijan on 17 May after a 400-day hiatus.
FIFA imposed the ban on 15 April in response to a longstanding conflict between the association and the majority of the country's top-flight clubs. The world governing body will meet this week to consider the situation again. Ten clubs withdrew from the championship in April last year and the 2002 season was never concluded. A new season finally kicked off last week.
Dr Carraro appointed
In its meeting in Seville today, the Executive Committee also agreed on the appointment of Dr Franco Carraro, president of the Italian Football Federation, as a special adviser to the committee on European Union matters. In addition, it received reports on the preparations under way for EURO 2004™ in Portugal and the ongoing work on possible changes to the UEFA Cup.