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March 14, 2018

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FIFA lifts Pakistan suspension

KARACHI: FIFA on Tuesday lifted its suspension which it had imposed on the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in October last year.

“Under these circumstances and bearing in mind the aforementioned developments, the suspension of the PFF is lifted with immediate effect,” FIFA wrote to the PFF on Tuesday.“This means that all of the PFF membership rights have been reinstated, as defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect,” FIFA said.

When FIFA was contacted by this correspondent on Tuesday, its spokesman said, “Please note that any update on this matter will be communicated in due course.”FIFA further said that consequently PFF representatives and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions.

“This also means that PFF 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 the PFF and its teams,” FIFA said.

However, FIFA added: “Please take note that any possible further steps with regard to the situation of the PFF will be communicated in due course.”A few days ago a LHC division bench had restored PFF by setting aside all the orders of the single bench and had advised the administrator Asad Munir to hand over the PFF secretariat in Lahore to the PFF which had been formed as a result of elections on June 30, 2015.

Earlier, in a letter addressed to the PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi FIFA said: “We refer to your letter dated 6 March 2018 in relation to the request to lift the suspension of the PFF as well as to the judgement of the LHC, an attested copy of which was submitted to us on March 3, 2018.

“In this context we take note of the following: ‘The LHC directed the court-appointed administrator to immediately hand over the control of PFF in terms of the election result dated 30-6-2015’. According to your letter dated 6 March 2018 the PFF has successfully taken over the control of the PFF offices along with the PFF accounts on March 1, 2018 as confirmed by a certificate signed by the court-appointed administrator (a copy of which was attached to the aforementioned letter,” FIFA’s letter to PFF said.

The letter said that according to the decision of the Bureau of the Council dated October 10, 2017, the suspension of the PFF was to be lifted “once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF”.

The letter has been signed by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura a copy of which has been forwarded to the AFC.The removal of suspension has opened the doors for the PFF to take steps for the resumption of football in Pakistan after around three years.

It must be mentioned here that the PFF’s rival group has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court in which according to sources notices have also been issued to the concerned parties. The apex court is yet to give a date for hearing.

PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat thanked FIFA president Gianni Infantino and AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. “I thank Gianni and Salman for this support,” Faisal has been quoted as saying. “I am very pleased that FIFA has finally lifted the suspension,” he said.If any further legal issues did not emerge in the next few days, the PFF would be able to resume football activities.

Because of the conflict which emerged in April 2015 due to controversial elections of the Punjab Football Association (PFF) no Pakistani team featured in any international event. Neither could Pakistan hold its Premier League which is the main domestic event and the main source of income for players.

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