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FIFA confirms Pakistan’s suspension over headquarter takeover

GENEVA: The Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) Congress officially confirmed the suspension of the Pakistan Football Federation. 

On the 71st virtual FIFA meeting, 203 members out of the 207 attain voted in favour of the Bureau of the FIFA Council’s step to suspend Pakistan on April 7, 2021, for the third party’s interference.

Only one member association voted against it. The FIFA Congress also ratified the suspension of the Chadian Football Association. 

Earlier, FIFA had announced the suspension of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) after a hostile takeover of its headquarters and outside interference.

In a statement, the Bureau of the FIFA Council said it has suspended the PFF with immediate effect due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes.

It said the 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 normalization committee of the PFF led by Haroon Malik and to hand over the leadership of the PFF to Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah.

FIFA issued a letter warning that, should the illegitimate occupation of the PFF headquarters not be lifted and the office bearers recognized by FIFA not be permitted free access to the building to carry out their mandate, the matter would be immediately submitted to the Bureau of the Council for decision.

It added that as the situation remains unchanged, the Bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF. “This suspension will only be lifted once FIFA has received confirmation from the normalization 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,” it said.

On March 27, 2021, the Football House building in Lahore was attacked by Ashfaq Shah and his group members. The alleged took over the PFF house, harassed the staff members there and took away the chequebooks which halted all the activities of football in the country.