World football’s governing body FIFA on Thursday decided to lift the suspension on the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) that was imposed last year owing 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,” a press release issued by Bureau of the FIFA Council stated.
“The PFF was also informed that any undue interference in its affairs or action that could hinder the fulfilment of the mandate of the normalisation committee might lead to the PFF being suspended again and/or the imposition of other sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes,” the press release said.
It noted that the deadline for the normalization committee to fulfill its mandate was no longer realistic, and as such, the bureau has decided to extend the committee’s mandate until June 30, 2023.
“This will enable the latter to finally carry out the tasks assigned to it in full,” the FIFA said.
Meanwhile, PFF Normalisation Committee (NC) chairman Haroon Malik hailed the decision as a “historic day” for Pakistani football.
“I congratulate the whole nation and football community on the news,” he said in a video message.
Malik said that the Normalisation Committee was committed to fulfilling FIFA’s mandate and would revive footballing activities. He emphasized the importance of the national team participating in international competitions.
He said that heading towards elections and reclamation of assets would also be among the top priorities for the PFF.
Pakistan was suspended by FIFA in April 2021 after its appointed NC was thrown out of office by a group of officials led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah, who claimed that the Haroon Malik-led committee wasn’t sincere about holding elections.
Rounds of talks between the PSB and the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination with officials of the NC as well the Ashfaq group and others eventually saw the NC return to the PFF headquarters after handing over an eight-month roadmap to hold the elections.