Lahore - The FIFA Tuesday lifted the suspension on Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and reinstated all the PFF’s membership rights.

In a letter to the PFF from the FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, she said: “Under the circumstances and bearing in mind the abovementioned developments, the suspension of the PFF is lifted with immediate effect. This means that all of PFF’s membership rights have been reinstated, as defined in article 13 of FIFA Statutes, with immediate effect.

“Consequently, the PFF’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions. This also means that PFF’s members and officials may benefit from development programmes, courses and training from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. Finally, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with PFF and/or its teams,” she added.

Talking to The Nation, PFF president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has thanked FIFA president Gianni Infantino and AFC chief Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa for their support. “This is a great victory for the football lovers, players, coaches and referees and the entire football family in Pakistan. This was the darkest period for Pakistan football as due to the lust of the ruling party, there has been no football activity, domestic or international, in Pakistan since last three years.

“It has brought the football growth to a standstill. Players, coaches and referees are the ones, who have suffered the most as their livelihood is dependent on football. I want to put a smile on their face now. I want them to get back on to the field and start playing as soon as possible,” he added.

Faisal said the national teams would now take part in all AFC competitions in 2018 for which they are eligible to take part in. “We will also resume our national competitions as soon as possible. We have already formulated our activity calendar that we will be announcing very soon.

“Furthermore, I assure the entire football family that this will best period for Pakistan football. Lastly, I would want to thank all my friends from districts right up to the federation, who stood with Pakistan football and against the government suppression and faced such hard times with us,” he concluded.