In a big blow to Pakistani football, FIFA has issued a suspension order to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect. The Federation had violated FIFA norms by giving the control of the offices and accounts to a national High Court-appointed administration. This adheres to the violation of FIFA mandates which order a particular federation to manage its affairs on its own and no third party interference is allowed. PFF’s membership has been canceled with immediate effect in accordance with the decision by the Bureau of the FIFA council on 10th October 2017. The suspension has been ordered relating to the ‘third party’ interference in the management of the national body.

This comes as a big low for the Pakistan national football team and all its allies as they will now be disallowed from participating in all the international events that will be organised by the International football governing body and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The PFF teams will no longer be entitled to compete in elite competitions until the ban is lifted. The ban also results in the barrage of Pakistani clubs and the National team from FIFA’s development programmes and training camps. The Pakistani football officials including referees would face the axe as they would no longer be able to take part in any of the FIFA or AFC events.

The Pakistan Football Federation was accused of vote-rigging when Faisal Saleh Hayat was appointed to lead the federation. However, PFF swiftly acted and a High Court committee ordered an official appointed by them to take over the reigns from Saleh. But the move backfired as FIFA norms clearly state that no third party political body can control the National Football Federation of a country.

“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,” said FIFA in  a statement released on its website.

The Pakistan men’s national team hasn’t played an international game for the past 2 years and this move is going to affect their world rankings further. Pakistan currently sits on an all-time low of 200th rank in the FIFA world rankings and this suspension is going to make things worse for the team.

The already sinking ship of Pakistani football seems far from being rescued. Faisal Saleh Hayat is reportedly going to appear in the Lahore High Court and request the court to reappoint him for the top post which can give FIFA a chance to rethink their decision.

First Published | 11 October 2017 5:06 PM
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