FIFA, the world football governing body, has restored the membership of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) after a suspension was imposed on the south Asian country last year due to political interference.
All PFF membership rights reinstated
On Tuesday, a letter from FIFA’s secretary general Fatma Samoura, addressed to the PFF, announcing Pakistan’s reinstatement was released to media.
“The suspension of the PFF is lifted with immediate effect. This means that all of PFF’s membership rights have been reinstated, as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect. PFF’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions,” an excerpt from the letter reads.
“PFF’s members and officials may benefit from development programmes, courses and training from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Finally, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with PFF and/or its teams.”
Finally— Pakistani Footballer (@PakstniFtballer) 13 March 2018
FIFA letter to PFF. So FIFA also lifts its ban after court decision to hand over PFF office to Faisal Hayat group.
Great news for football fans in Pakistan.
Hope international football start soon in country. #Football #Pakistan pic.twitter.com/4uhtuHM2TR
Why was Pakistan suspended in the first place?
On 10 October 2017, FIFA announced its decision to suspend the Pakistan saying that the PFF offices and accounts were in control of a court-appointed administrator.
The dispute began after the controversial election of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) in 2015 saw the PFF split into two factions heading its presidential poll.
Eventually the Lahore High Court (LHC) appointed an administrator to control the PFF affairs until the matter was resolved.
However, with the two factions disputing PFF’s control, elections could not happen, triggering a suspension by FIFA.
As a member of FIFA, the PFF has the obligation to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third parties.
Suspended from FIFA, PFF’s national and affiliated club teams were no longer entitled to take part in international competitions, until the suspension was lifted.