Karachi (Pakistan), 07 Apr. 2021 (Anadolu News)
FIFA on Wednesday suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) due to “third-party interference which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.”
In a statement, the global body said the situation was prompted by the recent “hostile takeover” of the PFF headquarters in the northeastern Lahore city, and ousting a FIFA representative.
Taking notice of a rift between rival PFF groups, the world body, in September 2019, appointed a “normalization committee” to mediate and hold fresh elections to resolve the long-running dispute.
However, a group led by Ashfaq Hussain recently stormed the federation’s headquarters and seized control from the committee headed by Haroon Malik. The group claimed it won the elections held under the supervision of the country’s apex court.
The world body gave a deadline until March 31 to vacate the headquarters else Pakistan could be suspended from its membership. The notice, however, was ignored.
“As this situation remains unchanged, the Bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF,” FIFA said.
“This suspension will only be lifted once FIFA has received confirmation from the normalization committee of the PFF that the PFF’s premises, accounts, administration, and communication channels are again under its full control and it can continue to carry out its mandate without further hindrance.”
The move will lead to the PFF losing all membership rights, including the participation of national teams or clubs in international competitions, as well as the right to benefit from FIFA’s financial and development programs.
Internal power struggle also led to the federation’s suspension in October 2017, which was lifted in March 2018.
Pakistan’s football team ranks 200th in FIFA World Rankings.