FIFA suspends Pakistan yet again

By our correspondent

KARACHI: The Bureau of the FIFA Council suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.

“This situation was prompted by the recent hostile takeover of the PFF headquarters in Lahore by a group of protestors and an alleged decision by certain individuals to remove the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee of the PFF led by Haroon Malik and to hand over the leadership of the PFF to Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah,” FIFA statement said.

“FIFA issued a letter warning that, should the illegitimate occupation of the PFF headquarters not be lifted and the office bearers recognised by FIFA not be permitted free access to the building to carry out their mandate, the matter would be immediately submitted to the Bureau of the Council for decision,” it said.

“As the situation remains unchanged, the Bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF. This suspension will only be lifted once FIFA has received confirmation from the normalisation 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,” it added.

A few days ago FIFA had warned Pakistan of a suspension and issued a deadline for Ashfaq Group for vacating the PFF headquarters a week ago but they ignored it. This is the second time since 2017 when Pakistan has been suspended.

FIFA installed NC in September 2019 with the nine-month mandate to hold the PFF elections. However the committee under Humza Khan failed to meet the deadline which was then extended to December 31, 2020. But again nothing happened. In the meantime Humza resigned towards the end of last year. FIFA brought in Canada-based Haroon Malik as chairman and also replaced the rest of the NC members, giving it a fresh look.

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