Pak­istan barred from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

ZURICH/LAHORE: Pak­istan has been sus­pended from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball be­cause of what global soc­cer body FIFA de­scribed as un­due third-party in­ter­fer­ence in the coun­try’s foot­ball fed­er­a­tion (PFF).

FIFA said in a state­ment that the sus­pen­sion would pre­vent Pak­istani teams, in­clud­ing the na­tional side, from play­ing in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and the PFF from ben­e­fit­ing from FIFA de­vel­op­ment and train­ing pro­grammes.

“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,” said FIFA.

“The sus­pen­sion will be lifted once the PFF of­fices and ac­cess to the PFF ac­counts are re­turned to the PFF.” Pak­istan’s foot­ball fed­er­a­tion (PFF) has been en­gulfed in chaos and split into two war­ring fac­tions fol­low­ing a tus­sle for the pres­i­dency in 2015.

Then-PFF pres­i­dent Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat was ac­cused of em­bez­zle­ment by the sec­ond fac­tion, which had the back­ing of an in­flu­en­tial fig­ure in the rul­ing Pak­istan Mus­lim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party. Hayat de­nies any wrong­do­ing. The mat­ter has been in the courts in re­cent years and judges have ap­pointed an ad­min­is­tra­tor to tem­po­rar­ily over­see the fed­er­a­tion, which has been dogged by in­com­pe­tence al­le­ga­tions and claims of cor­rup­tion.

Act­ing Sec­re­tary of PFF, Syed Farasat Ali Shah, told Reuters the foot­ball body will hold fresh elec­tions once the court’s pro­ceed­ings are over. “Pak­istan’s foot­ball is in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion as there is no chairman or head of PFF. We are con­sult­ing the stake-hold­ers to evolve fu­ture strat­egy after FIFA’s de­ci­sion,” Shah said.

“Once a new gov­ern­ment body of PFF is elected, we will be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to take care of the is­sue,” he added. In a state­ment sent to Reuters, Shahid Khokhar, an ally of Hayat, lay the blame for PFF’s trou­ble at the feet of Muham­mad Saf­dar, se­nior PML-N law­maker and the son-in-law of re­cently ousted Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif.

Ac­cord­ing to FIFA records, Pak­istan, 200th of 211 teams in the world rank­ings, have not played a full in­ter­na­tional since a 0-0 draw with Ye­men in a World Cup qual­i­fier in March 2015. Pak­istan have never qual­i­fied for the World Cup. — Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.