FPDC Inquisition: Politics and Football

By Malik Riaz Hai Naveed

Webmaster & Chief Editor of FootballPakistan.Com

It is hard to remember times, when the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President was no politician. Just have a look at the last 20 Years. There is current President Syed Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat since 2003 and there was Mian Muhammad Azhar from 1990 to 2003.  Those two are politicians from PML-Q and Azhar joined almost every Party in Pakistan.

It is not to deny that Faisal Saleh Hayat did some steps into the right direction, but some are not enough. It is also not to deny, that a PFF President has not the power as it reveals from the Name. But the President has still the power to buy cars for the PFF and have it as a gift for his son. In the PFF there are two other buddies, which handle all the operations: the General Secretary and the Director Operations.

You can say its luck that those persons in the PFF are no politicians, but it comes even worse: they are retired army officer. Both of them never played football and are now the most influential persons in Pakistani Football.

There should be some time problem between the office of a politician and the PFF President Office. Both offices require a lot of time and both offices require a lot of work, you can say that the Football Office is more demanding because politics in Pakistan are fruitless. Isn’t it worth a thought, that the PFF President should hold no public office to devote all his efforts into the development of Football in Pakistan? Yes there should be because else there will be a conflict of interest. Even the other PFF Office holders shouldn’t hold any public office because they are paid by PFF (the government) and they should bring experience in football, or even sports administration.

Other conflicts, which occur, are the party conflicts in election years. The PFF will hold its next election in 2011 and the current office holder, a PML politician will probably face another politician, Jehangir Badar a PPP workhorse. When Faisal took over, it was a PML lead government tenure, now the PPP is ruling the country and it looks quite obvious, that the PPP will go all out to put their people into the PFF office. But is that the idea? No, all these chicken fighting will ruin the sport and wont help our sportsmen over the country.

But will we have a chance for politics leaving the sports? We don’t see any because would you, as a politician, change the PFF constitution in that way, that only sportsmen are allowed to hold any PFF office? Obvious not. So we all have to wait and see what 2011 brings.