By Paul Nicholson
January 21 – FIFA has replaced three of the four members its Normalisation Committee running football in Pakistan in a bid to bring “fresh impetus” to the process of getting the federation compliant with FIFA regulations and organise new elections.
FIFA said that it “and the AFC have decided to replace three of the four members. The decision follows the resignation of the previous PFF normalisation committee chairman.”
FIFA has given the new Normalisation Committee until June 31 to organise new elections.
Pakistan has struggled to get its football house in order with a battle for control of the federation raging since 2015 with the election of Faisal Saleh Hayat as the federation’s president and subsequent allegations of vote-rigging.
In 2017, a Lahore court appointed an administrator to take over the running of the federation but that was in breach of FIFA regulations who banned the federation in 2017 citing “undue third-party interference”.
“The Bureau [of the FIFA Council] took this decision as a result of the fact that the PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator, which constitutes a violation of the PFF obligations to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third parties in accordance with the FIFA Statutes,” FIFA said in a statement at the time.
“The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF.”
FIFA imposed a Normalisation Committee and in March 2018 the suspension was lifted. But since then that committee under chairman Humza Khan failed to progress the federation to new elections that were given a deadline of June 2020.
Khan himself came under pressure, including from whistleblowers within the federation who accused him of financial mismanagement and providing undue advantage to his close personal friend Taha Alizai, owner of Karachi United FC. Other allegations of unacceptable behaviour and evidence of financial corruption is understood to have been supplied to the AFC and FIFA.
Khan’s replacement as chairman is Haroon Malik and FIFA said the new NC will begin work immediately. Other committee members are Haris Azmat, Saud Azim Hashimi, Muhammad Shahid Niaz Khokhar, and Muneer Sadhana. Final confirmation of their appointment will be made once they have completed eligibility checks.
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