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Bosnia Banned From World Soccer By FIFA, UEFA


Members of the Bosnia-Herzegovnina soccer federation on March 29
World and European authorities have suspended Bosnia's soccer federation from international competitions over the the federation's refusal to replace its three-member presidency with a single leader.

"Our association, like all other associations under UEFA and FIFA must have just one president instead of the three-member presidency we have now," Jasmin Bakovic, secretary-general of Bosnia-Herzegovina's football federation told reporters in Sarajevo today.

"We have been in a sandwich, [caught] between scissors, in the crossfire, between demands by FIFA and UEFA and our political reality."

Bosnian football is run on similar lines to its politics, with the federation's presidency shared between a Bosniak, a Croat, and a Serb to reflect the country's ethnic divisions following the 1992-95 civil war.

The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) had ordered the federation to change its statutes or face sanctions.

But at a meeting in Sarajevo this week, Bosnian Serbs opposed the single-president plan.

The ruling by FIFA and UEFA means Bosnia's representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the matter is resolved.

Bosnia is scheduled to play a Euro 2012 qualifying against Romania on June 3.

compiled from agency reports