Crisis averted as PFF NC regains control of headquarters in Lahore

PFF has reached an agreement with Punjab Revenue Department over lease of the building

October 20, 2023
Haroon Malik (L) speaks during a press conference. - PFF

LAHORE: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee (NC) regained control of its headquarters in Lahore on Friday.

The officials of the PFF Normalisation Committee (NC) were ousted from their headquarters in Lahore on Tuesday due to a dispute with the Punjab Revenue Department over the lease of the building.

The development came after a district and sessions court in Lahore lifted the stay order taken by the PFF on the matter.

However, the Punjab Revenue Department and PFF have now reached an agreement which is why the latter will resume its operations at the building.

If PFF was not handed back their headquarters, they were at risk of being banned by FIFA over third-party interference. 

Earlier, Pakistan football fans also expressed their disappointment over the matter and took to X, formerly Twitter, to urge the local and federal government to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Balochistan's Interim Minister for Youth, Cultural Affairs and Sports, Nawabzada Jamal Khan Raisani, also assured the football fraternity in Pakistan that he “is in touch with the relevant departments to resolve the issue”.

“I won’t let football stop in Pakistan,” he asserted.

It must be noted that a suspension was also imposed on the PFF in April 2021 due to undue third-party interference. However, the Bureau of the FIFA Council decided on June 29, 2022, to lift the suspension after it received confirmation that the PFF NC had regained full control of the PFF’s premises and was in a position to manage its finances.

“The PFF was also informed that any undue interference in its affairs or action that could hinder the fulfilment of the mandate of the normalisation committee might lead to the PFF being suspended again and/or the imposition of other sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes,” FIFA said in a statement.

The FIFA Council also extended the mandate of the PFF NC by nine months, earlier this year. The NC’s tenure was supposed to end on June 30, 2023, but will now stay in charge till March 2024.

Recently, Pakistan beat Cambodia 1-0 to register first win in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers history in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Harun Hamid scored the winning goal for Pakistan in the 67th minute of the match.

The first leg of the tie between the two sides ended goalless in Cambodia.

Pakistan will now clash with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tajikistan in Group G in round two of the qualifiers, which begins next month. 

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.

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