On the 14th of August, the Georgian Prime Minister announced that Levan Kobiashvili, head of the Georgian Football Federation (GFF), is set to run as a candidate for the Georgian Dream party in the Galdani 21st district, a single-member constituency.
According to the governing laws of the GFF, the organisation is “neutral in political and religious affairs.” In an issued statement, the GFF said that whilst the federation is obliged to be neutral, this does not extend to the federation’s president.
The GFF stated that Mr Kobiashvili can retain his post and that the federation president has a right to be politically engaged. They added that any individual can be nominated for the presidency, provided that the candidate is “between 24 and 70 years old, has a university degree, is a citizen of Georgia, has been involved in football affairs and has no criminal record.”
The GFF follows the regulations of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). According to FIFA rules, the GFF has to be neutral and remain independent vis-a-vis government, national and international organizations, associations and groups. As the representative of the Georgian Football Federation, the president is also obliged to remain politically neutral.
The requirements of the Georgian Parliament stipulate that outside their political duties, members of parliament may be engaged in scientific, pedagogic or artistic work, so long as it does not entail administrative responsibilities.
Levan Kobiashvili is a Georgian football player. He was elected to serve a four-year term as GFF president on October 3, 2015.