FIFA lifts suspension of Pakistan, restores int’l status [The Nation]

FIFA lifts suspension of Pakistan, restores int’l status [The Nation]

LAHORE – FIFA, world football governing body, has lifted ban on Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and the mandate of the FIFA’s Normalization Committee has been extended by one year. According to a statement issued by the PFF Normalization Committee, the FIFA has restored the PFF’s international membership and opened the doors of international competitions on the national teams and resumed football activities at the national level. Not only this, the world football governing body has also extended the mandate of the PFF Normalization Committee by one year.

It may be recalled that the Ashfaq Group had taken over the football headquarters by ousting the Normalization Committee. The FIFA had taken stern action and suspended Pakistan’s international membership, which also halted football activities across the country. The national teams were denied entry to international competitions and official education courses. After a long struggle and sincere efforts of government, former IPC Minister Fehmida Mirza, NC Chairman Haroon Malik and others, the charge of the FIFA House was handed back to the Normalization Committee under the government’s orders.

Normalization Committee Chairman Haroon Malik congratulated the nation and the football fraternity on the end of the PFF’s suspension and said that the hard work of the Normalization Committee and the prayers of the football family were the key reasons behind the lifting of international suspension on Pakistan football.

Haroon Malik further said that according to the FIFA mandate, holding the Pakistan Football Federation elections and revival of football in the country will be the first priority of the Normalization Committee. We will work harder and with more dedication in order to timely hold the PFF elections and to put Pakistan football on right track as the national footballers, who have a suffered a lot due to suspension of Pakistan, will be provided with more and better opportunities so that they may earn better bread and butter for their families.

Meanwhile, FIFA, in its press release issued here on Thursday (June 30, 2022), said: “The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided on 29 June 2022 to lift the suspension that was imposed on the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in April 2021 due to undue third-party interference. The decision was taken after FIFA received confirmation that the normalisation committee of the PFF had regained full control of the PFF’s premises and was in a position to manage its finances.

“The PFF was also informed that any undue interference in its affairs or action that could hinder the fulfillment of the mandate of the Normalization Committee might lead to the PFF being suspended again and/or the imposition of other sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes. As the deadline by which the normalisation committee was required to fulfil its mandate (30 June 2022) is now no longer realistic, the Bureau has also decided to extend the committee‘s mandate until 30 June 2023 at the latest. This will enable the latter to finally carry out the tasks assigned to it in full.

Published in The Nation, 1 July 2022