[COURTESY: Alam Zeb Safi, The News]
KARACHI: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) briefed Senate Standing Committee on Sports on Monday on multiple aspects of football in the country. The secretary of the PFF, Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi in his briefing in Islamabad threw light on structure, administration, budget, leadership, activities, future goals/vision, infrastructure, achievements, and problems the federation is being confronted with.
He also compared the performance of the current set up with the previous one. He told the committee that the current annual grant of Rs1,500,000 which the PFF gets from the government is insufficient and it should be raised up to Rs 50m if the government wants to give boost to football in the country. He also demanded for an extra substantial amount so that the PFF could establish at least five academies each in every federating unit. He added if each and every Member of Parliament patronises one club each in their respective constituencies then 350 clubs will automatically be patronised.
He also stressed the need for convincing all the sports departments, including educational institutions, to support football. Lodhi told in his briefing that the country needs two foreign coaches, one for senior and one for junior lot for at least five-year term and this could be only done with the assistance of the government.
He also said that football grounds under government control in the federating units and in the centre should be handed over to the PFF or the respective associations.
Responding to a query about the poor showing of the national team in 2009, Lodhi told the committee that the performance could be improved if government starts handing over sufficient budget to the PFF as is being done in India, Nepal and even Sri Lanka.
The committee showed satisfaction over the way football is being handled in the country and is more likely to recommend increase in annual budget of the PFF.