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FIFA Suspends Pakistan’s Membership

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Fabrice Coffrini—AFP

The Pakistan Football Federation has been plagued by an internal feud for several years

The international governing body of football on Wednesday announced it was suspending the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect over “undue third-party interference.”

In a press release posted on its official website, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) said the decision to suspend PFF was taken on Oct. 10 by the Bureau of the FIFA Council. “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, 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,” it said.

The football authority said the suspension would be lifted once independent control of its offices and accounts was returned to the PFF.

As a result of the suspension, the PFF loses all its membership rights and any affiliated teams—including club teams—are barred from participating in international competitions until the ban ends. “Neither the PFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programs, courses or training from FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation,” the FIFA statement added. It also noted that per FIFA statutes, no other member association will be permitted to form sporting contacts with PFF throughout its suspension.

Despite its global appeal, football has struggled in Pakistan, with the national team ranking at the bottom of the FIFA rankings for several years. Several bids to revive the sport have faltered, with the latest suspension resulting from an internal feud at the PFF that has prevented any participation in international events for the past two years.

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