PFF consider reducing PPFL to 12 teams

KARACHI: The Pakistan Football Federation is likely to decrease the number of teams from 16 to 12 at next year’s Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) in order to improve the standard of the competition.

Meanwhile, the decision has not gone down well with officials of the bottom-placed clubs in the event, who feel the change would hurt the level of competition instead. Afghan FC manager Adam Khan said that the decrease in number will discourage clubs from smaller cities.

“I really don’t understand the need for bringing the number down,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “If restructuring is on the cards, they need to start with the duration of the event instead of depriving weaker clubs from playing football at the national level.

“Clubs like Wohaib FC or ZTBL will not stand a chance to improve while the stronger clubs will thrive without any competition from the outside.”

On the other hand, Army manager Shafqat Mehmood and NBP coach Shamim Khan supported the decision saying it will force teams to do better. He added that the reduced number of matches would mean players would not have to play back-to-back matches which cause injuries.

PFF Tournament Director Pervez Mir said that decreasing the number of teams is just one aspect of restructuring the PPFL. He added that the move was meant to make the teams strive harder to avoid relegation that sees the bottom two clubs relegated to Division B.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2012.