In April 2021, FIFA banned the Pakistan Football Federation, PFF after its headquarter was taken over by a fraction of the federation led by Ashfaq Shah. FIFA was keen to give Haroon Malik (Chairman Pakistan Football Federation Normalizing Committee) freedom. He was going to work on resolving the problems that are prevalent and necessary at the grass root level which means that he wanted to apply technology, do club scrutiny and inquire and evaluate if the voter’s lists were up to scratch. This would have taken longer than just six months period. As Haroon Malik mandated extension (to hold elections) was till the month of June. But the FIFA’s insider reports suggested that the wanted to further extend that mandate and clearly wanted to resolve that issue of the interference of elections. FIFA wanted to hold elections fair and square without any allegations of the elections being rigged.

As this went on the local parties led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah, they started saying that they want Normalizing Committee to only focus on the elections and get it done with the elections as soon as possible. And ultimately, when this got prolonged for two to three months it got to point where the group finally moved froward and took over Pakistan Football Federation PFF headquarters.

As per the reports and word of mouth, this whole takeover looks more like a “power play”. Because when elections were going to be held which would have taken more time and there was going to be more scrutiny so the results might not be in their favour.



When you are banned, you are not a FIFA member anymore. Which means that the Pakistan National football team of any age group cannot take part in any competition or play any friendly matches. Pakistan national football team had to take part in the SAFF Championship this year 2021 and they were training hard for it and they were supposed to play friendly matches. Pakistan National football women’s team had to play the Asia Cup qualifiers. Youth level competitions were also scheduled to be played. All these matches Pakistan National football team could not take part because of the ban.


Even though the party led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah can control everything while sitting in the Pakistan Football Federation PFF headquarters but they are still not recognized. They cannot field Pakistan National football team at any level including the international level.

And secondly, any competition that is organized locally by the Pakistan Football Federation would not be recognized by FIFA. So, it will not be an official tournament, players’ records including their goals will not be registered. And due to this entire situation, Pakistan’s reputation that has already suffered in the last few years will be subjected to more sufferings. Because everyone does not understand what is wrong with Pakistan over the last few years as the people of Pakistan here have not been able to solve their internal problems.



Fahmeeda Mirza (Minister of Inter-provincial Coordination) has officially condemned the incident and said “This should not have happened.” But the government could have played a far more important because this problem is local it's not something that FIFA can resolve. The government should have taken a very clear stance and they still can but if they are able to do it tomorrow perhaps a day after that it can come to a point where talks can be held with FIFA to resolve the issue. The government needs to be very clear if the Ashfaq Shah Group are not the recognized body.  FIFA recognizes the normalization committee headed by Haroon Malik and they are the official holders as per FIFA and only they can conduct the elections and then the winning party comes in whoever gets elected. And because football is a neglected sport the government has played no role whatsoever over the last 70 years to promote it at any level. Everything that has been done to be honest has been done through FIFA’s finances if FIFA did not have a funding program so Pakistani football would stand literally nowhere because the cost of running football is very expensive and without FIFA’s finances it would be impossible. This PFF that was funded by FIFA itself.


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