Football – Pakistan to face suspension from FIFA

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KARACHI: The world Football governing body, FIFA, has given a final ultimatum to authorities in Pakistan for handing over Football affairs to elected-president-PFF Faisal Saleh Hayat or face suspension from membership.

An official of FIFA confirmed that matters related to Pakistan Football Federation were discussed at the meeting of its Members’ Association Committee on July 4th.

“The Committee pointed out that, while court proceedings are still ongoing, the court appointed administrator continues to occupy the PFF offices and to control its accounts,” said the FIFA spokesman.

“Therefore, the Committee decided that if the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts aren’t returned to the PFF Ieadership – Ied by Mr Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat – by 31 JuIy it would recommend to the FIFA Council to suspend the PFF for contravening its obligations under articles 14 & 19 of the FIFA Statutes,” the spokesman added.

Faisal Saleh Hayyat was re-elected as President of PFF for a third time in a controversial election in June 2015, but he was never allowed to resume charge and the matters were dragged in court, which FIFA terms as against its statues.

The article 19 of FIFA statues directly deals with independence of elected national federations.

“Each member association shall manage its affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties,” reads article 19.1 of FIFA’s statue.

“A member association’s bodies shall be either elected or appointed in that association. A member association’s statutes shall provide for a democratic procedure that guarantees the complete independence of the election or appointment,” FIFA adds in article 19.2 of the statue.

Clauses 3 and 4 of article 19 confirm that any decision made by bodies which are not democratically elected shall not be recognized by FIFA.

“Any member association’s bodies that have not been elected or appointed in compliance with the provisions of par. 2, even on an interim basis, shall not be recognized by FIFA,” says 19.3

“Decisions passed by bodies that have not been elected or appointed in compliance with par. 2 shall not be recognized by FIFA,” states article 19.4 of FIFA’s statue.

The tussle between two different fractions of the Pakistan Football Federation has forced footballers in the country to remain stranded without any activity. The country hasn’t been able to take part in any international tournament since mid-2015 and its international ranking has continuously been falling.

This is not the first time that FIFA has directly intervened in matters of Pakistan Football. It earlier warned Pakistan authorities of same while also acknowledging shortcomings in the Faisal-led-PFF constitutions.

In September 2015, the world body, while recognizing Faisal Saleh Hayat as President of PFF, had recommended PFF to revise its statutes, reform disciplinary bodies, and hold new elections in two years.

“The FIFA Executive Committee decided that the current PFF leadership – led by Mr Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat – would be given two years (until September 2017) to revise the PFF statutes and organise elections accordingly,” FIFA had said.

The AFC had, earlier this year, requested FIFA to extend the said deadline for PFF by two years. The matter was also discussed in FIFA’s members’ association committee meeting.

However, no final decision was taken and extension was made conditional to “the strict implementation of an action plan and a regular reporting mechanism.”

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