FIFA have banned the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect due to “undue third-party interference”.
The world governing body said on Wednesday that the PFF’s national and club teams are not entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.
The election of Faisal Saleh Hayat as president of the federation in 2015 and subsequent allegations of vote-rigging effectively led to a stoppage in the running of the sport in Pakistan.
A high court-appointed administrator took over running of the PFF in a bid to fix the issue – but that move came in violation of FIFA statutes regarding political interference.
“FIFA has decided to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council dated 10 October 2017 on account of undue third-party interference,” FIFA said in a statement.
“The Bureau took this decision as a result of the fact that 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.
“The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF.
“Following its suspension, the PFF has lost all its membership rights as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The PFF’s national and affiliated club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.
“This also means that neither the PFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation. Moreover, and in accordance with art. 16 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes, other member associations may not entertain sporting contact with the PFF during its suspension.”
As well as the ban stopping Pakistan from playing, the suspension means none of the PFF’s members or officials can benefit from development grants or training courses from FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The men’s national team has not played a game since 2015, resulting in an all-time low world ranking of 200. There is no professional league in the country.
The ban comes as a further blow to Pakistani football. Media in the country described the malaise of the sport in the country as “an all-time low”.
Hayat will appear in Lahore High Court next Tuesday in a bid to re-take charge of the PFF.