PFF sacks several employees

Alam Zeb Safi, The News

KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) once again took a whimsical decision when it forced a bunch of its employees to submit their resignations, writes Alam Zeb Safi.
Although the PFF did not admit that the employees had been forced to submit resignations, well-placed sources told this correspondent that they had been asked a few days ago to resign without giving them any solid reason behind the action.  Those who have been asked to submit resignations are Media Manager Agha Mohammad Ajmal, Acting Manager Referees Arif Siddiqui, Admin Assistant Zahoor, caretakers Azhar and Naeem, who used to deal with the coaches’ education.
“We have not forced them to submit resignations but if somebody is not willing to serve us we can’t do anything,” PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi told this correspondent on Thursday.  Lodhi was, however, quick to add that the PFF had a stringent policy and if someone was not fit to work in the parameters given, he would tend to leave the job.
The PFF history is replete with such instances as in the past it had relieved Director Finance Nadia Naqvi and Director Youth Development and Grassroots Siddique Shaikh. The duo had also been asked to submit resignations and they were then extended warm farewell in order to show to the world that these people were not willing to work any more and they had left the job of their own accord.
Those who have now submitted their resignations are supposed to leave the charge next month.
Sources said that the decision had created uneasiness for the rest of the employees of the federation, which was considered to be the third financially strong sports organisation in the country after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) as it has been getting huge funds from the world football governing body (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) besides consuming funds it receives from the government in annual and special grants.

Sources in the PFF said that Media Manager Agha Ajmal’s expulsion was astonishing as he had been working hard and had received accolades from his bosses several times. Just a few months ago he was also handed over a laptop, a sign of commendation for his work. Sources said that Azhar is a retired Army official, Naeem has a degree in  Sports Sciences and Arif Siddiqui is a former international and ex-employee of Railways. All of them had good reputation in the PFF.

And so was the case with Zahoor. Sources said that these people were not receiving hefty salaries, which could have put the resources of the PFF under pressure. Sources said that the PFF was being run wrongly, both in technical and administrative matters.  Sources said the top officials should try to make it a healthy institution because otherwise the competent people would not like to serve them.