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Play on, CCL: Guatemalan clubs in CONCACAF Champions League will (probably) not be suspended

FIFA said it would suspend Guatemalan soccer if one condition was not met, That condition has been met: Guatemalan soccer should be safe from suspension.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While the New York Red Bulls battled Antigua GFC to a 0-0 draw in Guatemala City, the Confederacion Deportiva Autonoma de Guatemala (CDAG) was meeting for the second time in two days to consider (in effect) the short-term future of Guatemalan soccer.

A couple of weeks ago, FIFA notified the Guatemalan Football Federation (FEDEFUT) of its intention to suspend it - and therefore, effectively, boot Guatemalan teams out of international competitions - if it did not persuade CDAG to reverse its decision to suspend the FIFA "normalization committee" that is technically running Guatemalan soccer at the moment.

That decision, as it happens, also involves Antigua GFC: a group of the club's players appealed to CDAG after being suspended by FIFA's normalization committee for doping violations; CDAG reviewed the evidence, decided the players had a case, and suspended the FIFA committee. And FIFA retaliated with a threatened suspension of its own.

The whole saga promised to affect the ongoing 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League, which has two Guatemalan clubs participating in its group stage. RBNY did itself and CCL a favor by getting a result against Antigua GFC on September 27 that ensured that Group F of the tournament was at least settled on the field of play, rather than by FIFA's spat with CDAG.

But Group H has come down to a home-and-away playoff between FC Dallas and Suchitepequez, which looked like it might be ruined by the pending FEDEFUT suspension.

We need worry no more: after reviewing the evidence again, CDAG has reversed it decision. FIFA's normalization committee in Guatemala is un-suspended, and that should mean the matter is resolved. FIFA is expected to lift the threat of any sanctions against FEDEFUT in due course. CCL 2016-17 should be able to conclude its group stage as planned.