Pakistan banned from world football until government returns PFF offices and accounts

There seem to be more questions than answers.

A few hours after his hat-trick helped Argentina qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia, superstar forward Lionel Messi breathed a sigh of relief after catching the news that FIFA has suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

"The Bureau took this decision as a result of the fact that the PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator".

"It's a sad day for Pakistan soccer, but I think government is not realizing the gravity of the problem", Pakistan soccer federation president Faisal Saleh Hayat told The Associated Press.

He said FIFA's laws are very clear and they do not allow for any undue third-party interference. In a statement sent to Reuters, Shahid Khokhar, an ally of Hayat, lay the blame for PFF's trouble at the feet of Muhammad Safdar, senior PML-N lawmaker and the son-in-law of recently ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The ban cuts off funding from Zurich, and bars national and club teams and officials from worldwide games and meetings. "The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF".

It is worth mentioning that after the controversial elections in 2015 and the legal battle between two groups of PFF, FIFA had given two years' mandate to Faisal Saleh Hayat to bring reforms in PFF, which ended in September 2017.

"The suspension has put our footballers' future in danger". Faisal Saleh Hayat is reportedly going to appear in the Lahore High Court and request the court to reappoint him for the top post which can give Federation Internationale de Football Association a chance to rethink their decision. As defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes.

The suspension should also bar Hayat from duty at the Asian Football Confederation.

Following the decision, Pakistani club teams are no longer entitled to take part in worldwide competitions, a ban which FIFA said will be lifted once the PFF's offices and access to the accounts are returned to federation. Other members of the global body are also barred from making any sporting contact with PFF. "So, it is unclear what PFF is supposed to do now", a source said.