Fifa steps in to manage Pakistan football federation

A dispute between two factions within the Pakistan football federation (PFF) has led to Fifa appointing a normalisation committee to run its day-to-day affairs and hold elections of the federation, district and provincial associations within nine months.

A press release by Fifa said: “On 27 June 2019, the Bureau of the Fifa Council decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in accordance with Fifa Statutes. The decision follows the recent Fifa /AFC fact-finding mission’s visit to Pakistan, which concluded that only free, fair and transparent elections of the PFF executive committee would reunite the football stakeholders in Pakistan and set the basis for the development of football which has been at a standstill since 2015.”

The two factions involve current PFF president Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah, who was elected in December 2018 after a Pakistan Supreme Court decision, and previous president Faisal Saleh Hayat, currently an elected Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president for the South Zone.

The AFC supports the Hayat-led PFF, saying in a statement: “The AFC Executive Committee promise their support to the ‘legitimately elected’ Pakistan Football Federation, which has  been replaced by order of the country’s Supreme Court.”

Fifa considers elections on court orders as a third-party influence, previously stating to the Express Tribune: “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.”

The normalisation committee will be composed of an adequate number of members to be identified by the Fifa administration, in consultation with the AFC and relevant local stakeholders, and in line with the Fifa governance regulations, all members of the normalisation committee will be subject to an eligibility check.

Fifa and the AFC will now begin the task of identifying, interviewing and selecting the members of the normalisation committee, and “an update will be provided on that matter in due course,” Fifa said.