KARACHI: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Sunday confirmed that funding to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) had been stopped in the wake of a newly-elected body taking over its Pakistan affiliate on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Newly-elected PFF chief Ashfaq Hussain Shah on Saturday disclosed that the PFF was faced with a cash crisis since taking control from FIFA and AFC-recognised Faisal Saleh Hayat, alleging that his predecessor had returned funds amounting to $530,000 back to FIFA and AFC.

Both FIFA and AFC have said that the court-ordered election of the PFF is tantamount to “third-party interference” and the AFC confirmed that the PFF won’t receive funding although it didn’t confirm whether any amount had been returned.

“The AFC payments to PFF have been suspended,” an AFC spokesperson told Dawn. “We do not make comments on transactions between Member Associations and AFC.”

Well-placed sources had told Dawn that the PFF had received $1,880,000 from FIFA and $750,000 from the AFC since March last year, when the Supreme Court restored Hayat as PFF chief whilst also ordering him to hold fresh elections following a dispute that began in 2015.

Out of that amount, the PFF had spent $2,100,000 till the turn of the year, sources claimed. Ashfaq had called Hayat returning the amount as a “criminal move” as he’d been ordered by the SC to give an account of every financial transaction by the PFF.

Hayat is currently in the United Arab Emirates where the AFC Asian Cup is being held. The AFC confirmed that even though funding to Pakistan had been stopped, Hayat — the chairman of its legal committee — was still being paid.

“From an AFC perspective any official carrying out a duty for AFC is still reimbursed,” the spokesperson added.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2019

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