PFF’s hostile takeover standoff: Pakistan football facing FIFA ban
Pakistan football is heading towards FIFA suspension as a hostile takeover of Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) headquarters by Ashfaq Shah-led group continues on Thursday.
The Football House building in Lahore was attacked by Shah and his group members on March 27, 2021, who harassed the staff members and took away the cheque books which halted all the activities of football in the country.
FIFA on Tuesday issued a strong-worded warning to the group that failure to hand back the headquarters to the Normalisation Committee (NC) by 2000 hrs on Wednesday could see Pakistan suspended for the second time in four years.
Ashfaq-led group neglected the warning and now Pakistan football is left waiting for the decision from the football governing body.
In a video message, Shah refused to relinquish the control, saying "we have the mandate and are the legal stakeholders."
Moreover, Karachi United and Highlanders Women Football Club have decided to withdraw from the ongoing National Women Football Championship after the Shah-led group’s hostile takeover and refusal to hand back the control to the NC.
Both teams were the two semifinalists out of the four in the event being played in Karachi where United were scheduled to face WAPDA on Thursday morning.
As per senior football journalist Umaid Wasim on Twitter, FIFA was warned by the previous head of the NC before resigning that free and fair elections in the PFF are very unlikely before the given deadline of summer 2021.
>>One of the candidates interviewed for the role of chairman had explicitly asked FIFA to bluntly express that an election of the PFF wasn’t possible in the mandate it was handing the new NC. (Till June 30)— Umaid Wasim (@UmaidWasim) March 31, 2021
It is believed that now the matter will be handed over to FIFA’s technical committee which will decide the fate of Pakistan football in the coming days.