By Mohammad Yaqoob,
LAHORE: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) disciplinary committee on Wednesday imposed a life ban on 20 officials for forming a parallel body of the Punjab Football Association (PFA).
The banned officials are facing the charge that they had formed their own body on April 17, and the disciplinary committee, which did not hear any banned official, held a meeting way back on May 24 but announced the decision on Wednesday.
Amid the banned persons are former PFA president Arshad Ahmed Khan Lodhi and his secretary Mahmood Khalid and the crisis further deepens as majority of the PFA members have now been suspended.
Interestingly, though, the PFF did not mention any detail about its disciplinary committee members, when it held the proceedings and who appeared before it to explain their position.
Jan Mohammad Mari, a member of the PFF Congress, led the disciplinary committee but Mahmood raised objection to his appointment as the PFF’s own constitution doesn’t allow a congress member to be part of its judicial bodies — the disciplinary and appeals committee.
“An independent elected member from the outside the PFF is to run that office,” Mahmood told Dawn from Islamabad on Wednesday. He added that Wednesday’s decision raises the total of banned PFA officials to 22.
“So out of a total house of 35 members of the PFA, we are in majority with 22 members so how can we form a parallel body?” he questioned. “Instead of recognising the majority group, the PFF has patronised the minority group of Sardar Naveed Haider Khan which has just 13 members out of 35. It is Sardar Naveed who in fact is forming the parallel body.”
Mahmood also asked PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat to follow FIFA president Sepp Blatter in tendering his resignation.
“Blatter resigned due to corrupt people in his group and similar is the case with Hayat,” he asserted. “All proceedings of the disciplinary committee are illegal.”
A PFF spokesman, requesting not to be named, meanwhile rejected Mahmood’s claim and said Marri will continue till the approval of the proposed constitutional amendments to be given in September this year.
“The PFF has just proposed the amendment that no Congress member can hold the office of any committee, including the disciplinary one. But it has not yet been approved by the Congress,” the spokesman said.
He also rejected Mahmood’s claim that Sardar Naveed’s group was in minority.
“When the PFA elections were held in April, seven members were banned, which reduced the strength of 20 voters of Mahmood’s group to 13, while Sardar Naveed was in majority with 15 votes,” the spokesman argued.
To a question he said that since the PFF elections were round the corner, as a PFF official he considered it unfair to make comments on queries about the elections. But he added as the allegations were of serious nature, the PFF has to give reply of all allegations.
The suspended persons are Ashraf Khan, Nadeem Ahmed, Haji Mian Mohammad Ashraf, Chaudhry Azhar Ahmed, Javaid Ghani, Irfan Maqsood Malik, Anees Ahmed Khan Lodhi, Malik Tariq Rasheed, Mohammad Shafiq Ahmed Naveed, Mehmood Mustafa, Chaudhry Rasheed, Rana Zia-ur-Rehman, Rana Akram Mubarik, Mohammad Arshad Khan Lodhi, Mehmood Khalid Chaudhry, Chaudhry Mohammad Ikhlaq, Faqir Mohammad, Mohammad Naeem, Safdar Shahzad, Falak Sher Babar.
“Consequently, the PFF disciplinary committee has declared the above mentioned persons ‘Persona Non Grata’ and debarred them for life from taking part directly or indirectly, in any football related activity of Pakistan Football Federation or its affiliated units,” the PFF stated in a news release.