Pakistan Football Federation officials evicted from Lahore headquarters

An empty Fifa Football House in Lahore after Pakistan Football Federation officials were kicked out on October 17, 2023. — Provided by author 

LAHORE: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee (NC) officials were forced to leave their Lahore headquarters on Tuesday due to a dispute with the Punjab Revenue Department regarding the building’s lease.

The PFF had previously obtained a stay order on the matter, but it was lifted by a district and sessions court in Lahore, leading to this development.

Additionally, the building has also been taken over by Punjab Revenue Department authorities, who assert that the lease was terminated in 2021.

PFF sources claim that after today’s Fifa World Cup 2026 qualifier against Cambodia, which is being played in Islamabad, they will discuss the matter and will also inform Fifa — the body that oversees the game — about the situation.

“There are 11 years remaining in the lease. The previous management is responsible for this debacle. We weren’t given a notice as well in advance as well,” the source added.

Pakistan are confident of winning their first-ever World Cup qualifying round win against Cambodia in a return match (second leg) at the Jinnah Stadium on Tuesday (today) afternoon.

Since Pakistan’s players put their feet on the field for the first-ever World Cup qualifying outing (Italia 1990), they have never won a qualifier. On Tuesday chances of achieving their first-ever win are there following the goalless first-leg draw in Cambodia.

Pakistan only managed to draw three of the 32 games they have played so far in an effort to make it to the World Cup, scoring 10 goals against 124 they conceded.

It rained almost all day Monday in Islamabad, a day ahead of the match, making it difficult for the opposing teams to use the Stadium field for one final training session.

The Cambodian team had to be content with a training session at the indoor Liaquat Gymnasium while Naseer Bunda Hockey turf was used by the host country players for a shorter training stint. The forecast for Tuesday however is encouraging.

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