FIFA Has Just Stripped Malaysia's Hosting Rights For The 2017 FIFA Congress
FIFA has revoked Malaysia's hosting rights for the 2017 FIFA Congress, where the voting for the 2026 World Cup was also scheduled, online football magazine FourFourTwo reported
The decision comes as a major blow for Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) which was informed of FIFA's decision on Tuesday, 9 August. However, while FAM has kept mum on the matter, the national body is expected to make an announcement after an executive committee meeting on Monday, reported FourFourTwo.
It appears, as per FourFourTwo's report, that FIFA's decision was based on over the Malaysia Government's reluctance to issue travel visa for delegates from certain countries, including Israel
Among the reasons given by FIFA include a possible difficulty in delegates from certain countries – including Israel – in obtaining necessary travel documents.
Malaysia and Israel do not have political ties and its citizens are not able travel freely between the two countries.
Yet Malaysia hosted the International Olympic Committee Congress just last year and welcomed delegates from around the world then.
Others have said that FIFA's decision was also influenced by turbulence in Malaysian football over the past couple of weeks
FIFA had awarded Malaysia the right to host the congress in December 2013.
Last year, it was reported that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) could face severe consequences including the possibility of being suspended by FIFA if there was interference from the government: