FIFA suspends Pakistan Football Team for third-party interference

PTIUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:59 AM IST
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Karachi: Football’s world governing body FIFA has suspended Pakistan after rejecting the running of the country’s football federation by a court-appointed administrator.

Citing undue third party interference in the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) affairs, FIFA said in a press release that Pakistan’s membership would remain suspended until the federation’s “offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator.

The decision to suspend Pakistan’s membership was taken by the bureau of the FIFA Council and was implemented immediately. Ironically on the same day, an organiser backed by the court appointed administrator announced that a classic league would be held soon in the country to revive football activities in the country.

The FIFA Council bureau said that control of the PFF affairs by a court-appointed administrator “constitutes a violation of the PFF obligations to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third parties in accordance with the FIFA Statutes.” However, “the suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF,” the FIFA said.

The suspension of Pakistan’s membership rules out PFF and its associate clubs getting any benefits from any of FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) facilities or development and training programmes, with the federation losing all of its membership rights.

Pakistan football has been in the doldrums since elections of the Punjab Football Association were held in April 2015 after which the PFF split into two factions heading into a presidential poll. Both factions claiming victory the matter went to the Lahore High Court which appointed an administrator to run football affairs until the case was decided.

But the FIFA has given the faction headed by Saleh Faisal Hayat the mandate to revise statutes and hold fresh elections in two years time.

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