FIFA has postponed its visit to Pakistan until the end of May, a FIFA spokesman said Wednesday.
“The visit was originally scheduled for April 24-25, but was postponed to a later date in May at the request of the PFF president and secretary-general,” the spokesman told The News.
A few days ago, at its meeting in Zurich, the United Nations FIFA General Assembly decided that a joint mission of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) would visit Pakistan to speak with all parties, assess the situation, and later to make concrete proposals for the way forward.
FIFA recognizes Faisal Saleh Hayat as President of the Pakistan Football Association (PFF). However, in the Supreme Court elections, a new body has been formed whose president is Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah. The same PFF has been operational at national level since 1 January 2019. It not only oversaw the final phase of the country’s Premier League, but will also host an intercity event.
Due to the problem, Pakistan missed the first leg of the Uzbekistan Olympic qualifier last month. And the nation is on the verge of missing the World Cup qualifiers that will be played in the summer if FIFA has not solved the problem.
This would be the second time that FIFA sent its mission to Pakistan. She sent a three-person trip to Lahore in 2015, which saw the Faisal World Federation hand PFF two years into September 2017 to revise its constitution and hold new elections.
If the PFF was unable to act in concert with FIFA, the World Organization extended the PFF mandate until March 2020 in October 2018. In October, FIFA suspended Pakistan for “third-party interference”. However, the suspension was lifted in March 2018, just days after the LHC restored the PFF in Lahore.
The Supreme Court ruled on the matter on 13 March 2019, after hearing the petition for review by Faisal and others, and allowed the petitioners to avail themselves of the legal remedy available to them before the appropriate forum.
According to sources, it was the FIFA-recognized PFF that called on the World Organization to send a fact-finding mission to Pakistan.
Due to the problem that arose in early 2015, Pakistan missed several international events. In addition, there was no Premier League in three seasons, which caused a huge loss to the nation’s footballers.