by Umaid Wasim
KARACHI: FIFA is going head-on against the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The world’s football governing body on Tuesday indicated that it could ban the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) if the elections ordered by the country’s apex court were to go ahead.
The SC, earlier this year, ordered fresh elections of the Faisal Saleh Hayat-led PFF in a move that was hoped to end years of crisis and controversy engulfing the country’s football body.
FIFA had earlier imposed a six-month ban on the PFF, which was lifted in March this year, after it termed the Lahore High Court (LHC) appointing an administrator to run the PFF affairs as “third-party interference”.
The PFF elections under the order of the Supreme Court were set to be held on December 12 and FIFA had asked its Pakistan affiliate to send them information regarding the polls in a letter last week.
In that letter, FIFA had also sent the PFF the roadmap to follow for fresh elections which were to be held latest by March 2020 according to the decision made by its Members Associations Committee in September.
Dawn has learnt that FIFA had asked the PFF in its letter to first revise its statutes and bring them in line with the FIFA Statutes before holding elections at district and provincial level and then electing the PFF Executive Committee.
“We can confirm that FIFA has today sent a letter to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) stating that the Order issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 14 November, 2018 seems to be incompatible with the decision taken by the FIFA Member Associations Committee on 26 September 2018,” a FIFA spokesperson told Dawn on Tuesday.
“FIFA has reminded the PFF about the FIFA Statutes (particularly article 14 par. 1 let I and article 19 par 1) according to which member associations are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties.
“Therefore, should elections at the PFF take place on a date that is imposed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, this would be considered undue influence in the sense of the FIFA Statutes. Consequently the matter would then be presented to the relevant FIFA bodies for consideration and possible action, which may include the suspension of the PFF.”