Ban lifted on Kuwaiti Football, Infantino confirms

From out in the cold to the red hot centre. Qatar offers Kuwait Gulf Cup hosting rights

The timing could not be more crucial following a meeting on Monday - just 18 days before the tournament is scheduled to start - of the Gulf Cup Football Federation.

"With the lifting of Kuwait ban, it means the basic requirement to have a minimum of five teams for the Gulf Cup is met".

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain have pulled out of the eight-team tournament last month following a deepening row with Qatar.

If, as seems likely, the tournament is now given the green light it will be played between Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait and Yemen.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has confirmed that the ban on Kuwaiti football has been lifted, after a surprise visit to Kuwait City on Wednesday morning.

Infantino was visiting Kuwait to announce the eagerly-anticipated decision.

The Gulf Cup was scheduled to begin in Doha later this month but was clouded in a bit of uncertainty because Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain refused to send their teams to Qatar and Kuwait was serving out the FIFA ban rendering its football team ineligible to take part in any worldwide events. The ban had already prevented Kuwaiti clubs from participating in the continental AFC Cup and the Kuwaiti National Team from playing in the FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

The Emir expressed his gratitude to the Federation Internationale de Football Association head for his support for Kuwaiti athletes.

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