Football body says Pakistan has undue third-party interference; move means team barred from international competition and getting FIFA support.

The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, September 26, 2017. (Reuters)
The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, September 26, 2017. (Reuters) (Reuters)

FIFA has suspended Pakistan from international football because of what the global soccer body described as undue third-party interference in the country's football federation (PFF).

Rules imposed by FIFA and its members prohibit outside influence affecting their independence. 

The suspension would prevent Pakistani teams, including the national side, from playing in international competition and the PFF from benefitting from FIFA development and training programmes, FIFA said in a statement.

"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," said FIFA.

"The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF."

The PFF had no immediate comment but told Reuters they were preparing a statement to explain "the background which led to this and also our views on the suspension."

The rules can have the effect of protecting unpopular soccer officials from government intervention.

The suspension should bar Pakistan federation president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat from duty at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

He is an AFC executive committee member and chairs its legal committee.

According to FIFA records, Pakistan, 200th of 211 teams in the world rankings, have not played a full international since a 0-0 draw with Yemen in a World Cup qualifier in March 2015.

Pakistan has never qualified for the World Cup.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies