‘PFF OFFICES, ACCOUNTS STILL IN COURT’S CONTROL’
By Sports Reporter
KARACHI: World football’s governing body FIFA announced yesterday to suspend Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect. FIFA’s ban comes two months after a final warning by the governing body to authorities in Pakistan to hand over PFF control to Faisal Saleh Hayat-led PFF, which Pakistan turned a blind eye to. “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,” said a statement from FIFA. “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 statement read. The administrator in question was appointed by Lahore High Court in July 2015, following the controversial PFF elections earlier that year, which saw Faisal Saleh Hayat re-elected as President of PFF for the third time. FIFA discouraged the appointment of the administrator in PFF and termed it a ‘third-party interference’ and against FIFA’s statues. The chaos led to Pakistan Football teams missing out on numerous international events during last two years. “FIFA or AFC won’t accept any team and Faisal’s group wasn’t allowed by authorities here to carry out football activities, hence no international games for Pakistan in last two years,” said a source. FIFA added in its statement that the suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF. “The FIFA Executive Committee decided that the current PFF leadership – led by Mr Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat – would be given two years (until September 2017) to revise the PFF statutes and organise elections accordingly,” FIFA had said in September 2015. In July this year, FIFA gave a final ultimatum to authorities in Pakistan for handing over football affairs to elected-president PFF Faisal Saleh Hayat or face suspension. Following the suspension, the PFF loses all its membership rights 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. With PFF now suspended, FIFA’s mandate to Faisal Saleh Hayyat expired and court-appointed administrator not being recognized, one wonders what the roadmap would be for PFF towards reinstatement and normalization. “Usually FIFA would appoint a normalization committee, but that’s not the case here. So, it is unclear what PFF is supposed to do now,” a source said.