Pakistan Football Federation
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Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is the govenrning body of association football in Pakistan. PFF was formed in 1954. It is the governing body of Football in Pakistan. It organizes the Pakistan national teams matches as well as the domestic leagues and cups. The PFF's headquarter is at FIFA Football House in Lahore, Punjab near the Punjab Stadium. PFF is currently suspended by FIFA due to third party interference.
The PFF governs all football clubs in Pakistan. It is a member of AFC and FIFA. All of Pakistan's football clubs must be members of the PFF. The PFF is responsible for the appointment of the management of the Pakistan men's and women's national teams and the organization of the Pakistan Premier League (the top division), and other lower divisions. The game is controlled at the local level, by 8 provincial football federations affiliated to The PFF but with responsibilities for organising and running football activities in their area like Islamabad football association.
On 5 December 1947, after the independence from Great Britain, the Pakistan Football Federation was created. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's first leader, became the Patron-in-Chief, and in 1948, the PFF became affiliated with FIFA. It is also one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation when it was established in 1954.
Previously, corrupt and inefficient management, poor support from the authorities to the players and to the game itself, poor media coverage and the status of Cricket as the most popular game in the country were some of the factors as to why football remained underdeveloped since independence. Also due to politics within the organisation, there was a time when FIFA had suspended Pakistan from all international football due to rival PFF factions setting up their own teams to take part in international and national competitions. Such things hindered any chance of football's progress over the last 2 decades.
However, in August 2003, the PFF was under new management, as Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat took over, and he has turned around the fortunes of Pakistani football. With the Assistance of FIFA, the PFF set up a national football league in 2004, which is now called the Pakistan Premier League. In 2005 a national championship was set up for women's football. In 2007, the inter-city Geo Super Football League was established, making it the first time that Pakistani club football was telecast live on national television via GEO Super. It also became Pakistan's first professional football tournament.
Since 2015 and the controversial third election of Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, the PFF has been going through an internal feud that unabled the local and national teams to partake to any international event. In July 2017, the FIFA threatened to suspend the PFF's membership if it kept refusing to hand football affairs to its president-elect Faisal Saleh Hayat. Former coach Nasir Ismail asked FIFA to hold fresh elections for the PFF's presidency.
At both club and international football, Pakistan have seen results improve. Pakistan rise has attracted many Pakistani players throughout the world such as England based player Zesh Rehman. However more effort and sincerity by the officials is required to allow further progress of the sport in Pakistan. Current bureaucratic inefficiencies and lackluster politics remain within the PFF machinery that have always hindered the true growth of the game in Pakistan at a faster rate.
Pakistan's core national league has three divisions. The National Football Championship (A-Division) is named as the Pakistan Premier League (PPL) while National Championship (B-Division) is known as the Pakistan Football Federation League (PFF league) and the National Club Championship (C-Division) is the lowest division. Below this are regional leagues likes IFA in Islamabad. There is also a national knock-out competition called the National Football Challenge Cup although it appears to be used sparingly nowadays, as PFF is one of the most corrupt organizations, per UNESCO corruption rankings.
Over the past several years, the Pakistan Football Federation has been accused of several corruption scandals and incompetence in running the day-to-day footballing activities in Pakistan. Local media outlets have described the current situation of the PFF as a "horror show".
Faisal Saleh Hayat incompetenceEdit
Hayat was the President of the Pakistan Football Federation and also serves as a member of the Strategic Committee of FIFA. He has held this position since 2003, and has been described as a "feudal lord of Pakistani football". During his controversial tenure, Pakistan's FIFA ranking has dropped from 168 in 2003 to 201 in 2017. Despite his lackluster results, Hayat continues to hold on to his position as president. Hayat himself in also the middle of various corruption allegations involving PFF and a legal battle at Lahore High Court with a warring faction intent on seeing him removed from office. The top division of the Pakistan Premier League remains suspended because the crisis created due to his actions. The men's senior team last played in March 2015, when they bowed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the first round.
In June 2017, 18 of the 26 members of the PFF voted in favor of Faisal Saleh Hayat's dismissal for incompetence and embezzlement of PFF funds. In July 2017, the FIFA threatened to suspend the PFF's membership if it kept refusing to hand football affairs to its president-elect Faisal Saleh Hayat.
Punjab Football Association Elections ControversyEdit
In June 2015, the PFF presidential elections were announced, with Faisal Saleh Hayat facing his biggest challenge since 2003. Several senior members of the PFF as well as the government were intent on having Hayat removed from power. Controversy began at the Punjab Football Association, when the Hayat-backed Sardar Naveed Haider Khan toppled incumbent Arshad Khan Lodhi. Several of Lodhi's voters were banned by Hayat's illegal disciplinary committee. With this, Zahir Ali Shah a PFF vice-president, turned against Hayat and announced his intention to run for PFF presidency. Shortly after his announcement, allegations emerged from Shah claiming that Hayat had changed several clauses of the PFF constitution to suit himself in the presidential election. The PFF eventually split into two groups following an Extraordinary Congress meeting that suspended Hayat. With the election approaching, the two factions announced their own election venues. The Lahore High Court was forced to intervene in and ordered a stay on polling and appointed a temporary administrator until matters were resolved between the two factions.
The row intensified when the Hayat faction went on and held election anyway, disobeying the Lahore High Court stay order. FIFA then intervened and sent a fact-finding mission. They concluded that Hayat be given a mandate for two years, in which he would have to amend PFF statutes and form an independent disciplinary committee before holding elections again.
The Lahore High Court appointed administrator Asad Munir was given authority to manage football activity in Pakistan, while the two factions sorted out differences. In a shocking move, the Hayat faction swiftly withdrew Pakistan team from the 2015 SAFF Cup, only causing more resentment from football fans and senior PFF members who were intent on seeing Hayat removed from office. Many suggest that Faisal Saleh Hayat is not mentally stable.
In October 2016, the FIFA executive committee indicated all is not well with the Faisal Saleh Hayat faction of the PFF. A FIFA spokesperson said "given the current situation, FIFA has been withholding development funding to PFF."
In February 2017, the Lahore High Court restored Faisal Saleh Hayat as president of the Pakistan Football Federation. The FIFA Executive Committee decided that the current PFF leadership - led by Faisal Saleh Hayat - would be given two years (until September 2017) to revise the PFF statutes and organise elections accordingly.
Just before PPF elections in 2015, two groups were formed within the federation and there infighting in the federation due to which FIFA took notice and told the federation to solve the matters, being in contact with AFC. Upon the situation a FIFA spokesman said,
"FIFA and AFC are in contact regarding the situation of the PFF in order to organise a possible mission in the near future."
Lahore High Court (LHC) declared PFF elections to be held on 30 June 2015. On 30 June, the elections were declared null/void by LHC, attended by AFC observer, Sanjeevan Balasinggam. The PFF chairman Faisal Saleh Hayat said that the "Elections were approved by AFC, but the Asian governing body had no comment on the situation."
Due to crisis Pakistan has not qualified for any of the international tournament since March 2015 and FIFA rankings have slumped to 198 for men's team.
A normalization committee was made for the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) whose task is to hold elections of the country's football governing body and bring it would bring an end to a four-year crisis that resulted in Pakistan suffering significantly in the game.
On 27 March 2021, the PFF's office was attacked and people inside held hostage by its former president, Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah, and his group, and the ongoing women's championship was cancelled. Major clubs protested: Diya W.F.C. announced following "laws laid down by FIFA, PFF NC and the AFC", Mohsin Gillani W.F.C. announced it pulled out and Karachi United condemned actions taken against the NC and stated to be "fully and respectfully supportive of following due process as per FIFA directives."
FIFA has gave warnings and suspension for PFA on several occassions. FIFA had issued a warning to suspend Pakistan if the third party interference (i.e. involvement of Lahore High Court is not ended as soon as possible.
On 10 October 2017, FIFA suspended PFF with immediate effect. FIFA stated on its website,
"FIFA has decided to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council dated 10 October 2017 on account of undue third-party interference."
meaning Pakistan will not be a part of any footballing activity officially until further notice is provided by the governing body.
In 2018, the ban was lifted by FIFA and Pakistan has been given the opportunity to participate in the 2018 Asian games and the 2018 SAFF competitions.
On 7 April 2021, FIFA suspended the federation with immediate effect due to third-party interference, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.
Board of directorsEdit
|Manizeh Zainli||General Secretary|||
|Adnan Us Sadiq||Treasurer|||
|Daniel Limones||Technical Director|||
|N/A||Team Coach (Men's)|
|N/A||Team Coach (Women's)|
|Mir Shabbar Ali||Media/Communications Manager|||
|Assaam Muhammad||Marketing Manager|
|Adnan Us Sadiq||Referee Coordinator|||
The PFF also runs several competitions:
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