The Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) on Wednesday suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect.
The move comes after a group led by Syed Ashfaq Shah took over the PFF’s control from the Normalisation Committee, appointed by the world governing body, which was being led by Haroon Malik.
A statement by FIFA said that the bureau of the its Council suspended the FIFA with immediate effect due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes.
“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 normalization committee of the PFF led by Haroon Malik and to hand over the leadership of the PFF to Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah,” it added.
Terming the takeover illegal, FIFA has issued an ultimatum that the committee should be handed over the PFF control by March 31 otherwise Pakistan could be suspended from its membership.
The Ashfaq group had ignored the deadline and had announced to continue working from the PFF headquarters.
Following the refusal by the Ashfaq group, the Bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF.
“This suspension will only be lifted once FIFA has received confirmation from the normalization 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 said.
This is not the time that PFF is facing a suspension from the football governing body. Pakistan was also suspended by FIFA for third-party interference in 2017.