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FIFA suspends Pakistan from international football for uncertain period of time

The Pakistan football team last played an international match in 2015.

News 11 Oct 2017, 15:27 IST

The suspension will remain till PFF's affairs are controlled independently
The suspension will remain till PFF's affairs are controlled independently

What’s the story?

FIFA has made a decision to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation for an uncertain period of time immediately as per the decision taken by the Bureau of FIFA Council dated yesterday.

The reason why the PFF has been suspended by FIFA is that the board is currently controlled by an administrator appointed by the Lahore High Court, which is a violation of PFF controlling its affairs independently.

The suspension will be lifted once PFF takes charge of its affairs independently and without the interference of any third party.

Having been suspended, Pakistan’s footballing body will lose all its membership rights as stated in article 13 of the FIFA statutes and the Pakistan national team, which is currently ranked at the bottom of the FIFA rankings, will play no part in any international tournaments until and unless the ban is lifted.

Another aftereffect of the suspension is that neither the PFF nor any of its officials will be able to profit from any of its development programmes or training courses from the FIFA or the AFC.

In case you did not know...

Pakistan last played an official international match way back in March 2015, when they played Yemen during a World Cup qualifier at Bahrain. The match was drawn 0-0 but since Yemen won the previous leg at Doha, they won on aggregate and qualified for the second round.

The heart of the matter

It all began during the Changla Gali elections two years back which was won by Faisal Saleh Hayat, the president of the Pakistan Football Federation. However, shortly after Hayat’s win, a rival party accused Hayat of falsifying the polls in addition to embezzlement of funds.

The matter went to the Lahore High Court whose verdict resulted in a court-appointed administrator taking charge of PFF’s affairs and accounts. The first signs of Pakistan being suspended from footballing activities were shown on the 4th of July when FIFA’s Member Association Committee came to the decision that the Pakistan Football Federation be suspended due to the violation of articles 14 and 19 of the FIFA statutes.

Time and again the players have requested third parties to not ruin the sport in the country due to their personal vendettas, the most recent plea coming from midfielder Saadullah Khan. However, all requests and pleas went to deaf ears.

What's next?

With the suspension taking effect immediately, the Pakistan Football Federation and the players will definitely be discussing taking the matter to the High Court and try to come to a conclusion which will benefit PFF.

Author’s Take

It’s too bad already that international cricket was banned in Pakistan and now, even football has been given an uncertain suspension. However, in this case, the PFF president Faisal Hayat’s corruption is the one to blame.

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