KARACHI: FIFA, in a decision that was long overdue, has suspended Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) owing to its offices’ wrongful occupancy of court-appointed administrators rather than elected personnel.
The world football’s governing body threatened of the said suspension months ago but had since kept its mum on the turmoil, which stemmed from the controversial Changla Gali elections of 2015 when Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat was accused of manipulation by his rivals.
PFF’s internal power struggle has since lingered on for more than two years and stifled the country’s entire footballing ecosystem.
The dispute was taken to the Lahore High Court, which appointed an administrator, who took over the PFF offices, much to the annoyance of Hayat.
But FIFA, on Wednesday, finally followed up on its threat in a statement, saying: “FIFA has decided to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council dated 10 October 2017 on account of undue third-party interference.”
The statement further read: “The Bureau took this decision as a result of the fact that the PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator, which 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. The PFF loses all its membership rights as defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The PFF representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.”
There is a way back though as the statement explains: “The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF.”
The ruling, however, is not going to make much of a difference for Pakistani footballers as it does little to rekindle the domestic leagues.
This also means that neither the PFF nor any of its members or officials can benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The PFF case is still in the court with its next hearing scheduled to take place on October 17.