A joint president of the Bosnian federation has appealed to FIFA and UEFA Thursday in a bid to halt the threat of a ban from international football that is due to come into force on April 1.
The Bosnian Football Federation’s (NSBIH) suspension is imminent because its assembly on Tuesday failed to adopt changes to its statute.
UEFA and FIFA had demanded that NSBIH’s ethnic-based tripartite presidency – consisting of a Croat, a Muslim and a Serb member – be replaced by a single president.
A UEFA spokesperson warned on Tuesday: “We will wait for more information, but the suspension will be automatic starting from April 1.”
Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia’s joint presidency, appealed Thursday for a resolution in a letter addressed to FIFA and UEFA presidents, Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini respectively.
“Without wishing to interfere … in your activities, I voice my sincere conviction that you will find an adequate solution to establish in Bosnia a football organisation of the best quality to allow Bosnia’s national team and our clubs to continue taking part in European competition,” he said in the letter.
He added: “You certainly know that Bosnia-Hercegovina is a complex country … It would be unfortunate that irresponsible behaviour of members of our (football) federation prevents our international and local football players from taking part in international matches.”
“Hundreds of thousands of their fans do not deserve that.”
Since the 1991-1995 war Bosnia consists of two entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs’ Republika Srpska.
Apart from the joint football federation, founded in 2002, each semi-autonomous half also has a federation of its own.