The removal of these rights means several implications for Pakistani football.
Major football organisation FIFA announced they have suspended Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). They claim the suspension comes due to “undue third-party interference”.
FIFA made their announcement on their website, on 11th October 2017, with the suspension taking place immediately. The FIFA council agreed their decision on 10th October.
In an official statement, they said:
“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.”
With this suspension, this means Pakistan Football Federation has lost its membership rights. As defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The removal of these rights means several implications for Pakistani football.
First of all, the PFF’s teams, both national and affiliated, face a ban from playing in international competitions. Meaning Pakistan won’t have a representative team for any international tournaments.
In addition, members and officials from the Pakistani organisation won’t have access to development grants or training courses issued by FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Finally, other associations are unable to make “sporting contact” with the PFF.
However, FIFA did reveal that the federation has a chance to lift the suspension. This would require the offices and access to the accounts of PFF returned to the federation itself.
This suspension marks the latest setback for Pakistani football. In particular for the PFF. Back in 2015, Faisal Saleh Hayat became controversially elected as its President. However, allegations soon followed of vote-rigging after his election.
Ultimately, the claims led to the sport becoming halted in the country. PFF attempted to resolve the issue by appointing a high court-appointed administrator. This only meant internal feuds built up inside the federation, with Faisal Saleh Hayat unable to interact with the growing issues.
FIFA stepped in by making threats of a suspension back in July 2017. Now they have turned those threats into reality.
Faisal Saleh Hayat commented on the decision and described it as “very unfortunate”. He explained:
“All our efforts to uplift Pakistan football went in vain after this ban, which was imposed just because of sheer negligence of government as it didn’t bother to discourage and stop the occupiers and grabbers from undue interference in PFF affairs.”
The suspension has also meant that Pakistan has fallen down in FIFA rankings, right down to 200th. With a strong series of consequences, Pakistani football faces a tough challenge ahead.
Many will hope that the suspension will soon become lifted. But this requires resolution inside the PFF; one that may not come to fruition so easily.