FIFA bans Pakistan from international soccer

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has been suspended from international football because of what world governing body FIFA describes as undue third-party interference in the country’s football federation (PFF).

FIFA said in a statement Wednesday that the suspension would prevent Pakistani teams, including the national side, playing in international competition and the PFF from benefiting from FIFA development and training programs.

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“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.”

A PFF spokesman said they had no immediate comment but were preparing a statement to explain “the background which led to this and also our views on the suspension”.

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 March 2015 in a World Cup qualifier.

Pakistan have never reached the World Cup finals.