Riaz Ahmed: Sponsor-less PFF League concludes without representation from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtoon-Khuwa.

By veteran football journalist, Riaz Ahmed

Pakistan Football Federation is probably the only Football Federation in the world whose ‘A’ and ‘B’ Divisions are held without sponsors or sponsorship deals.

Why is it so? The reason can better be explained by the PFF themselves, but such a case is seen nowhere else in the world. Every other Federation has long term deals with sponsors thus their leagues are not ‘’events inside tents’’ but are broadcasted live nationally if not internationally.

Last year in the shape of KASB the PFF had found a good sponsor on a long term, a 5 year deal, but this deal could only last one year and the deal simply ‘flopped’. It would have been better if the reasons that caused the deal to be called off were studied in detail, the problems solved and a new deal should immediately have been done with another company. But the Marketing Department of the PFF is not seen vibrant to pursue new sponsorship deals, even if companies approach the Marketing Department of the PFF they are somehow unable to satisfy the party and fail to get the deals done.

The national level events of all other sport bodies in Pakistan are seen having lucrative sponsorship deals but the national events of the PFF are simply sponsor-less. Maybe the PFF doesn’t need a sponsorship are they are satisfied by the mediocre sum that they get from FIFA, AFC and PSB. Even then the importance of sponsors cannot be denied. Just see how KASB got the final round of the Pakistan Premier League telecasted live from the Peoples Stadium Karachi on Geo Super. It was something we can refer to as historical, and had given new life to the PPL and our players were getting global recognition. The PFF President needs to immediately turn his attention towards this otherwise the efforts being put to promote Pakistani football will not bear fruit.

From the 22nd of November to the 14th of December the ‘B’ Division of the PFF was held at various cities across the country. But it seemed as if it was only held for the sake of it! There was no interest in it for the football lovers of Pakistan and neither did they make their way to the grounds to see the games.           The Karachi games were held at 11:30 am and that too at the Pakistan Steel’s ground at the outskirts to the city, a minimum of 2 hours are needed just to reach that place from the city. How is it possible that those games can be seen by the fans? To make these games more appealing, attractive, entertaining and exciting the Federation has paid secretaries in every provinces. The PFF should make arrangement such that fans can enjoy these games.

The 7th PFF league was also affected by the non-participation of teams from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtoon-Khuwa. Sindh has the biggest number of football clubs of any province of Pakistan, 500, and that no club from Sindh participated in the event is a thing of great concern and is a good question to the PFF. Last season Karachi Kickers and Qureshi Club from Hyderabad from Sindh and Zamindar Club (Abbottabad) and Dera XI (Dera Ismael Khan) represented Khyber Pakhtoon-Khwa. This time around teams from these provinces took no interest in participating in the league? The Secretary extended the dead line for registration many times but to no avail. It is 100 percent the duty of a paid Secretary to ensure participation from every region. Many clubs across the two provinces especially Karachi, consider participation in this tournament as an honour but why were they never approached? Thus there was no representation from Sindh for the event.

General Secretary PFF, Col (R) Ahmed Yar Lodhi should take a stern notice of the ignorance that led to this, or take a notice of any discrimination or targeting if any towards these provinces. He should ask those concerned for a detailed reply on why these two provinces had no representation in a National Event. But it is highly probable that this wouldn’t happen and the football administrators would once again stay quiet, be silent and let bygones be bygones.

This article is an extract from veteran journalist Riaz Ahmed’s article in Urdu for hamariweb.com.

The full article can be read at http://www.hamariweb.com/articles/article.aspx?id=10532