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FIFA Lifts Pakistan’s Football Suspension

by AFP

Fabrice Coffrini—AFP

President of Pakistan Football Federation hopes move will help bring stability in country’s football

Pakistan on Wednesday welcomed FIFA’s move to lift a ban imposed last year over an internal feud at the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

The sport’s governing body had imposed a rare blanket ban on the country last October after the dispute at PFF led a court to appoint an administrator to run the federation’s affairs, violating FIFA requirements for the body to be managed independently.

FIFA ended the ban after a court agreed to reinstate Faisal Saleh Hayat as president last month, saying, “the suspension of the PFF is lifted with immediate effect.”

Hayat welcomed FIFA’s decision and told reporters he hoped it would “bring stability in Pakistan football.”

“We will start… national and international activities as soon as possible.”

Pakistan’s last international match was a World Cup 2018 qualifier against Yemen in March 2015 and defeat in that two-legged first-round play-off ended their qualification campaign. Pakistan boasted a top place in Asian football until the early 1970s, but a lack of government support and poor infrastructure helped push them as low as 203rd in the FIFA football rankings.

The game is growing in popularity once more, however, even in a country obsessed with cricket.

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