A Georgia soccer club is set to challenge MLS for a U.K. spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The announcement by FIFA came just a day after a FIFA decision to reverse the decision to disqualify the Atlanta Silverbacks from the 2018 World Cup following an investigation into their anti-gay policies.
The Georgia club announced on Tuesday it has agreed to pay $1 million in fines and other penalties to FIFA for failing to comply with the decision.
The Silverbacks’ failure to pay the fines and penalties, which FIFA has previously deemed to be in breach of the law, will cause them to forfeit their U.F.C. spot.
FIFA said in its decision to reject the Silverbacks bid on Tuesday that “the Silverbacks violated FIFA’s Code of Ethics by denying the fundamental right of equal access to FIFA World Cups and related competitions for players and supporters of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) communities, regardless of their national origin.”FIFA said the Silverback team’s failure to comply “could result in a sanction that could result in the disqualification of the Silverbirds from the FIFA World Youth Championship, as well as a penalty of up to a one-year ban from FIFA competitions and/or the expulsion from the federation.”
The announcement comes less than a week after Georgia soccer players protested against a ban on men’s soccer, calling it an infringement on their rights.
Georgia coach Dan Shaughnessy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday the team will appeal FIFA’s decision.
“I think they’re trying to do the right thing.
They have to.
They’re in a unique situation,” he said.
“I think what we want is to get as many people involved in this as we can, and we’re going to be there to do that.”
Georgia will join the U.M.A. as the only other team that has failed to pay FIFA’s penalties.
The Golden Eagles, a U-23 team from the United States, will play in the 2019 FIFA World Championships in Brazil, which opens on Dec. 12.