The international governing body of football FIFA on Tuesday warned that Pakistan Football Federation could be suspended over the “illegitimate occupation of the PFF headquarters” and demanded that the Normalisation Committe (the office bearers recognised by FIFA) should be permitted free access to the building by Wednesday (today) at 8:00 pm (local time).
“In case of non-compliance by the illegal occupants, the matter shall be immediately submitted to the Bureau of the Council for decision, which might include the suspension of PFF on the basis of art. 16 pat. 1 of the FIFA statutes,” FIFA said in a letter addressed to PFF NC Chairman Haroon Malik.
Earlier, the PFF headquarters was attacked on Saturday (March 27) in Lahore. The FIFA-appointed PFF NC chairman Haroon Malik along with his staff had been taken hostage for more than an hour by some of the football officials (former PFF President Ashfaq Hussain Shah group) who were elected during a poll held by the Supreme Court in December 2018.
“Upon taking over control of the PFF headquarters, Shah had claimed that officials of his group did not fear FIFA and that the spectre of Pakistan being banned by the world’s football governing body did not faze them.” Dawn reported.
Earlier, Pakistan was banned by FIFA in 2015 due to “undue third-party interference” in the PFF but the ban was lifted in 2018.
Football circles in Pakistan have launched a hashtag campaign (#saveusfromFIFAban) on Twitter, asking authorities to take swift actions to save the future of the game in Pakistan.
The Member of the National Assembly of Grand Democratic alliance, Dr. Fahmida Mirza has taken the matter and held meetings with the conflicting parties.