Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pakistan Barred From International Football

He added that Sharif family's lust to control every institution in Pakistan, despite legal limitations which they have no respect for, has destroyed Pakistan football. Rather, it has only exacerbated them. Ironically on the same day, an organiser backed by the court appointed administrator announced that a classic league would be held soon in the country to revive football activities in the country.

The election of politician Faisal Saleh Hayat as PFF president two years ago and subsequent allegations of vote-rigging meant football has effectively ground to a halt in the traditionally cricket-orientated country. Consequently, Lahore High Court (LHC) declared the elections of PFF, attended by FIFA/AFC representative, null and void and appointed Justice (r) Asad Munir as PFF administrator against a substantial salary of Rs 500,000.

"FIFA has chose 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 [of the Fifa Council] 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", Reuters reported quoting FIFA.

It was then decided that the courts would take control of the PFF's offices and accounts until the crisis was resolved. The next hearing of an appeal is scheduled on October 17.

In a video released to local media, Hayat blamed the ruling government for the ban and said it would be prolonged if offices weren't returned to him.

Pakistan has never qualified for the World Cup.

"Usually FIFA would appoint a normalization committee, but that's not the case here".

"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. "It [FIFA] had told us it would suspend us if the political interference did not end", Hayat told Geo News Pakistan.

"The players and coaches have been suffering for the last two years while they have enjoyed perks and privileges while attending Federation Internationale de Football Association and AFC meetings". Pakistan was to host FIFA World Cup trophy's arrival early next year but if the PFF remained suspended the honour would be given to India.

Football's world governing body has strict rules about its member associations maintaining their independence and being free from outside influences and government interference.

In a statement on Wednesday, former PFF secretary Hafiz Salman Butt hoped FIFA's decision to ban the PFF would lead to reform.

Football body says Pakistan has undue third-party interference; move means team barred from worldwide competition and getting FIFA support.

The elections had been held despite a court stay order.

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