FIFA bans Pakistan football team with immediate effect for ‘serious violations’

Pakistan Football Federation suspended by FIFA

The international football governing body, FIFA on Wednesday suspended Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) due to third-party interference. The ban is to be implemented with immediate effect. The FIFA council released a statement on its official website to confirm the same.

The statement said: ‘The 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 election of Faisal Saleh Hayat as the federation’s president in 2015 and following allegations of vote-rigging led to a halt in the sport in Pakistan. To resolve the matter, a high court-appointed administrator took charge of the Pakistan Football Federation but that was in violation of FIFA statutes regarding political interference. Until the suspension is lifted, Pakistan’s national and club teams would not be eligible to take part in FIFA international football competitions. Moreover, PFF will not get any fund from FIFA, leaving the sport in the country in a financial mess. The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF.