Zurich: Bosnia and Hercegovina was suspended from international and European football Friday after failing to adopt statutes that would lead to a single-member presidency of the country's federation (NSBIH), UEFA and FIFA announced.
European and world footballing chiefs from UEFA and FIFA respectively 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.
FIFA and UEFA released a joint statement Friday which said: "The Football Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina (FFBH/NSBiH) has been suspended until further notice by FIFA and UEFA as of today, 1 April 2011.
"This decision was necessary as the General Assembly of the FFBH did not adopt the statutes according to FIFA and UEFA requirements.
"The Executive Committees of FIFA (on 28 October 2010) and UEFA (on 4 October 2010) had requested the FFBH to adopt the statutes according to FIFA and UEFA minimum requirements by no later than 31 March 2011, otherwise the FFBH would be automatically suspended.
"The FFBH General Assembly, held in Sarajevo on 29 March 2011, did not achieve the necessary quorum of support to adopt the FFBH statutes, with only 22 out of the 54 delegates present voting in favour of amending the FFBH statutes.
"Consequently, the FFBH has lost all of its membership rights with immediate effect and until further notice.
"The FFBH representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions as of 1 April 2011 and until the aforementioned problem is resolved. This also means that, as of 1 April 2011, no FFBH official or representative may participate in any international match or event.
"FIFA and UEFA deeply regret that this decision had to be taken and will meet shortly to discuss the next steps required to try to bring the FFBH back into the football family as soon as possible."
Bosnia are currently involved in qualifying for the 2012 European Championships to be held in Poland and Ukraine, They sit in Group D, which is currently topped by France, and their next game is against Romania on June 3.
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.
In calling for a solution to the impasse Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's joint presidency, asked for the FIFA and UEFA presidents, Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, to comprehend the complexity of their situation.
"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.
"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."
UEFA's executive committee will meet on June 16-17, but could be summoned for an earlier meeting.