FIFA suspends Pakistan membership over PFF affairs interference

By: News Desk      Published: 01:15 PM, 7 Apr, 2021
Pakistan football
File photo of FIFA headquarters.

The Bureau of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Council has suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday. 

FIFA maintained that the reason for the suspension was the occupation of the PFF headquarters against the FIFA rules and regulations. 

In a statement issued, FIFA said, “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.”

The 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.

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,” FIFA council said.

Earlier, FIFA took action on the issue of Pakistan Football Federation and directed Engineer Ashfaq Group to vacate FIFA House in Lahore by 8pm on March 31.

FIFA, in a letter to PFF Normalisation Committee, cautioned if the FIFA Lahore House would not be vacated till April 1 then FIFA has all the rights to take action against the Pakistan Football Federation including cancellation of FIFA membership and stripping of all funds and facilities.

FIFA could also put a five-year ban on Pakistan in case of non-compliance.  

It may be recalled that Pakistan football’s headquarters have been attacked, with the chairman of the FIFA-appointed Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee (NC) saying he was forced to hand over the organisation’s accounts and checkbooks.

Haroon Malik, the PFF NC chair, claimed Saturday’s attack was led by former PFF President Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah who was accompanied by other officials.

Separately, the Bureau of the FIFA Council also suspended the Chadian Football Association (FTFA) with immediate effect due to government interference.