FIFA suspends Pakistan, Chad football federations over interference

(Reuters) - FIFA has suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) due to third-party interference and the Chadian Football Association (FTFA) due to government interference, soccer’s global governing body said on Wednesday.

FIFA's logo is seen in front of its headquarters during a foggy autumn day in Zurich, Switzerland November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A group of football officials led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah, which was elected by the Supreme Court in 2018 to run the PFF but was not recognised by FIFA, took over the headquarters last month and seized control from the FIFA Normalisation Committee (NC) headed by Haroon Malik, local media reported.

Shah, who says he is President of the PFF, told Reuters that the NC had not conducted elections for the body in the 18 months since it took charge.

FIFA said its decision to suspend the PFF was prompted by the “hostile takeover” which constituted a serious violation of its statutes.

“FIFA issued a letter warning that, should the illegitimate occupation of the PFF headquarters not be lifted and the office bearers recognised by FIFA not be permitted free access to the building to carry out their mandate, the matter would be immediately submitted to the Bureau of the Council for decision,” FIFA said.

“As the situation remains unchanged, the Bureau of the Council has decided to suspend the PFF.”

Pakistan was also suspended by FIFA for third party interference in 2017.

FIFA said the latest suspension will only be lifted once it has received confirmation from the NC that the PFF premises, accounts, administration and communication channels are again under its full control.

“It’s very unfortunate for Pakistan that FIFA suspended PFF, and some people who have vested interests in PFF are responsible for it,” NC head Malik told Reuters.

“I promise that soon PFF’s suspension will end.”

Pakistan men’s forward Kaleemullah Khan and women’s team midfielder Abiha Haider had urged Ashfaq to hand control back to the normalisation committee with a ban likely to spell the end of many careers.


Chad was disqualified last month from the Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football due to interference.

Chad’s Football Federation president Moctar Mahamoud Hamid said FIFA’s decision was expected.

“Everyone knows that these sanctions from international football bodies will fall sooner or later and we are there,” he told Reuters.

The sports ministry withdrew the delegation of power granted to the Chadian Football Federation for insubordination and lack of collaboration.

A few days later, a provisional committee responsible for the management of football in Chad was set up by a presidential decree.

The sports ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

The FTFA’s suspension will be lifted once the relevant government decisions have been repealed and the FTFA and its management, led by Hamid, have confirmed to FIFA that its premises are under its control.

The suspensions means the countries will not receive funds from FIFA and will be barred from official competitions.

Reporting by Mubasher Bukhari in Lahore, Mahamat Ramadane in N’Djamena, Shrivathsa Sridhar and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens/Mitch Phillips and Christian Radnedge