KARACHI: Global football body FIFA on Tuesday announced the extension of the mandate of the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee for a further six months until the end of June.

The Haroon Malik-led NC, which is close to being handed back control of the PFF headquarters after nine months out of office, had announced the extension of its mandate last week.

“On 31 December 2021 the Bureau of the FIFA Council decided to extend the mandate of the PFF normalization committee until 30 June 2022 at the latest,” a FIFA spokesperson told Dawn.

In April, FIFA had suspended Pakistan after the NC was forced out of office by the court-elected PFF of Ashfaq Hussain Shah, which is not recognised by the world’s football governing body.

Since then, the NC — appointed by FIFA to hold fresh elections of the PFF, which has been mired in conflict and controversy over the last five years — has held talks with influential government officials and gained crucial support in order to get the headquarters back in its control.

Ashfaq and his group of officials, who came into power through an elections of the PFF held by the Supreme Court in December 2018, had seized control of the PFF headquarters citing NC’s slow approach towards holding the elections.

To gain the government’s backing, the NC has given an eight-month roadmap to hold elections and that backing played a major role in FIFA extending its mandate.

The suspension on Pakistan will only be lifted once the NC is back in control of the PFF headquarters. The NC has already won a legal battle to keep control of the PFF accounts.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2022

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