Pakistan govt ‘shocked’ over FIFA’s decision to suspend PFF

Abdul Mohi Shah
Pakistan govt ‘shocked’ over FIFA’s decision to suspend PFF / Photo: File 

The director general of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (r) Asif Zaman has said that the decision of FIFA to suspend Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) took the government by surprise.

Zaman said that Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza had requested for patience during her press conference held a couple of days back.

“We were not expecting such a hasty decision from the football’s governing body,” the DG PSB said. “It has surprised rather shocked us as the game of football will be the ultimate sufferer after such decision. The minister had assured her help for resolving the issue in the best interest of the game.

“Though the government does not want any interference, for the sake of the game’s future we wanted an amicable settlement of the issue.”

The Bureau of the FIFA Council on Wednesday suspended the PFF on what it called ‘due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.’

Zaman said he was expecting a detailed and thorough review of the prevailing situation by the FIFA. “We were taken by surprise by this hasty decision that I feel would serve no good to the future of the game,” he said. “We were expecting a rational review of the situation by the game’s governing body before imposing a suspension on the PFF.”

The FIFA said that decision to suspend Pakistan was prompted by the recent takeover of the PFF’s Headquarters in Lahore by a group of protesters and an alleged decision by certain individuals to remove the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee of the PFF led by Haroon Malik and to hand over the leadership of the PFF to Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah.

When PFF president Ashfaq Shah was approached in Islamabad where he was nursing his minor surgery, he said he was disappointed by the decision like any other Pakistani.

Read: Entire football ecosystem suffering due to actions of few: NC on Pakistan's FIFA ban

Pakistan govt ‘shocked’ over FIFA’s decision to suspend PFF

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