Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Pakistan banned from world football until government returns PFF offices and accounts

Pakistan banned from world football until government returns PFF offices and accounts

The decision to suspend Pakistan's membership was taken by the bureau of the FIFA Council and was implemented immediately.

But the move backfired as FIFA norms clearly state that no third party political body can control the National Football Federation of a country.

In a big blow to Pakistani football, FIFA has issued a suspension order to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect.

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.

This also means that neither the PFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

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The Pakistan soccer federation's "offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator", FIFA said.

Despite its size and the world's sixth largest nation by population, Pakistan is ranked 200th of FIFA's 211 member nations and the men's national team has not played a full global since a 0-0 draw with Yemen in a World Cup qualifier in March 2015.

"The suspension has put our footballers' future in danger. Now our players won't be able to play internationally and even our domestic football will suffer... it will suffer badly", Hayat told Geo News. The suspension has been ordered relating to the "third party" interference in the management of the national body. In a statement sent to Reuters, Shahid Khokhar, an ally of Hayat, lay the blame for PFF's trouble at the feet of Muhammad Safdar, senior PML-N lawmaker and the son-in-law of recently ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"It's a big loss for us today as none of our players, coaches or referees now could travel overseas until we are suspended", Hayat said. Pakistan now sits on an all-time low of 200th rank in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings and this suspension is going to make things worse for the team. "Otherwise, our football will suffer".

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