Football referees playing for clubs in Karachi

KARACHI: Some national and FIFA referees have been seen playing for different clubs while also being registered with them, which is illegal, a highly informed source told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

As per referees’ rules, when someone is enlisted as a referee with the federation, AFC or FIFA, then he cannot get registered with a club as a player.

Former FIFA referee Abdul Aziz is registered with the Karachi Kickers, while national referee Habibullah has been seen playing for District Football Association (DFA) East, Abdul Latif is registered with Baloch Mohammadan, while Abdul Ghafoor plays for All Brothers.

Similarly, the source said, national referee Fareed Ahmad is registered with Babul Club and Zahid Ali is playing for a club based at Kala Pull.

“There are several other referees who are grossly violating the rules by playing for the registered clubs,” the source said. “It is pathetic that the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has not checked this trend as it is an old practice and should have been stopped much earlier,” he said. “How will such people ensure neutrality as referees?” he said.

Pakistan Football Referees Association (PFRA) secretary Ahmad Ali said that there are no such rules that a referee cannot play for any club. He said that neutral referees were the only solution to this problem.

The News