by Natasha Raheel
KARACHI : Now that the ban on Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has been lifted, FIFA confirmed on Thursday they will be sending a mission to Pakistan shortly.
The PFF has been courting controversy for the past three years and Pakistan have not competed in any international event since March 2015.
FIFA suspended PFF in October last year, following the appointment of Asad Munir to run the federation after the court annulled PFF President Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat’s election for a fourth term. FIFA lifted the ban on March 13, stating that they are closely following the situation with PFF.
“We can confirm that a FIFA mission will visit Pakistan in the near future to assess the situation and decide on next steps,” FIFA spokesperson wrote to The Express Tribune.
In the 2015 Changla Gali elections, 14 voting members out of a total of 26 had no association with football. In fact Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and departmental representatives never made it to the PFF elections.
As the PFF broke into two groups in 2015, their own election committee secretary Farasat Ali Shah claimed that the provincial association elections were rigged in order to manipulate the PFF presidential elections because Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Football Association President Zahir Ali Shah had shown interest in competing against Hayat that year.
After a visit to Pakistan, in September 2015, FIFA asked PFF to update laws in accordance with FIFA statutes, addressing a lack of transparency in the distribution of power in the organisation.
The disarray at the organisational level has had a terrible impact on Pakistani footballers. No domestic leagues have taken place throughout this period and the country’s ranking has dropped to 203.