International football association FIFA has suspended Pakistan with immediate effect, after a hostile takeover of the Pakistan Football Federations’s Lahore headquarters was followed up by the removal of the normalisation committee a few days ago.
A group led by Syed Ashfaq Shah had taken over the PFF’s control from the Normalisation Committee, appointed by the world governing body, which was being led by Haroon Malik.
A statement by FIFA said that the bureau of the FIFA Council suspended the PFF with immediate effect due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes.
“This situation was prompted by the recent hostile takeover of the PFF headquarters in Lahore by a group of protestors and an alleged decision by certain individuals to remove the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee of the PFF led by Haroon Malik and to hand over the leadership of the PFF to Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah,” it said.
The group, led by Syed Ashfaq Shah, had stormed into PFF headquarters last month, forcing Haroon Malik and the normalisation committee to vacate the office and the PFF control.
FIFA had termed the takeover illegal and issued an ultimatum that the committee should be handed over the PFF control by March 31 otherwise Pakistan could be suspended from its membership.
The Ashfaq group had ignored the deadline and had announced to continue working from the PFF headquarters.
Following the refusal by Ashfaq group, the bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF.
“This suspension will only be lifted once FIFA has received confirmation from the normalisation committee of the PFF that the PFF’s premises, accounts, administration and communication channels are again under its full control and it can continue to carry out its mandate without further hindrance,” FIFA said.