FIFA lift Greece ban on international competition

July 12, 2006

FIFA's emergency committee have lifted the suspension of the Greek Football Federation (HFF) after new laws were passed in the country to make the body more independent.

FIFA suspended the HFF on July 3 after concluding that the Greek federation did not comply with FIFA statutes which insist on the independence of football associations and their decision-making processes.

However, the Greek Parliament have approved an amendment to the relevant legislation and FIFA are now satisfied the HFF will be in line with the regulations.

It means Greece will be able to play England in their friendly international at Old Trafford, scheduled for August 16.

After imposing the suspension - which prevented the Greece national team, the HFF's member clubs and officials from 'entering into international contact' - FIFA met with the HFF and Greek government to discuss what could be done to see the suspension lifted.

As a result of those talks, the Greek Parliament voted late last night to introduce an amendment to legislation governing sport.

The amendment states that the HFF are self-governed according to their own statutes and regulations, as well as those of FIFA and UEFA.

Greek sports minister George Orfanos sent a copy of the new law to FIFA president Sepp Blatter this morning.

A FIFA statement said: 'In view of this amendment, the FIFA Emergency Committee deemed that the HFF are now in a position to respect the statutes and regulations of FIFA as well as those of UEFA.

'As a result, the suspension previously imposed on the Hellenic Football Federation has been lifted as of today.'