FIFA stops Gerrard, Pirlo from playing game in banned Kuwait

ZURICH: FIFA has stopped Steven Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo and Xavi Hernandez from playing in a friendly in Kuwait because of the Gulf nation's ban from international soccer.

Kuwait was suspended by FIFA in October because of government interference. The ban from international competitions extends to active players registered with clubs from taking part in the Football Champions Tour friendly in Kuwait on Friday against a local all-star team.

Organizers say Pirlo and Gerrard, who play in Major League Soccer, as well as Qatar-based Xavi are no longer able to participate.

FIFA acting secretary general Markus Kattner wrote to member associations last week reminding them that the Football Champions Tour game was also covered by Kuwait's suspension.