By Alam Zeb Safi,
KARACHI: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday appointed justice retired Asad Munir as administrator who will hold the elections of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) within four months, highly reliable sources told ‘The News’.
“Although we have not yet got any copy of the court order, it is confirmed that former LHC judge Asad Munir has been appointed as administrator,” a source said.
LHC declared the PFF elections held on June 30 near Changla Gali as null and void.
The court also issued notices to the PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat, secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi and a few others in contempt case.
Justice Farrukh Irfan adjourned the proceedings till September 18.
During the proceeding, Arshad Lodhi group was asked to vacate the PFF headquarters which they occupied in April.
Sources said that in a couple of days a court order regarding the appointment of Asad Munir as administrator would be issued and the former LHC justice would then decide who would work with him during his time in office.
Asad retired as LHC justice in 2011.
On June 30, the two factions of PFF, one led by Faisal and the other by Zahir Shah, were set to hold their elections at separate locations.
On June 29, LHC issued a stay order against the PFF elections, but Faisal and his company held their elections near Changla Gali in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, claiming that they had not received the court order.
Sources in the PFF told ‘The News’ that the federation under Faisal was preparing to challenge the LHC’s decisions in the Supreme Court.
“A petition has already been prepared. The PFF will definitely go to the apex court,” a PFF source said.
“When Arshad Lodhi group had filed the petition, LHC judge Mansoor Ali Ali Shah had said that it was not maintainable and the court was not authorised to hear such a case against a private entity,” the PFF source added.
“It would be the base of the case in the apex court,” the source added.
The PFF has hired the services of Asma Jahangir for the purpose. It intended to hire Abdul Hafeez Pirzada but he was out of country, a source said.
Sources said that the PFF was hopeful that they would get justice from the Supreme Court. The sources said that the Faisal-led PFF may benefit from the deal signed by Pakistan government with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that only those federations would be recognised by Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) who were recognised by their respective international bodies.
The sources said that FIFA’s article 17 makes it clear that the world body will not tolerate third party’s interference in the affairs of its affiliated federations.
A FIFA spokesperson wrote to this correspondent on Friday that FIFA and AFC were in contact regarding the situation of the PFF in order to organise a possible mission in the near future.
But sources in the PFF said that the AFC chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, who is also the vice-president of FIFA, told FIFA executive committee a few days ago that AFC had already endorsed the PFF elections.
A source in the PFF said that every effort would be made to prevent sanctions on Pakistan.
However, the source was quick to add that the situation had damaged Pakistan’s participation in a handful of key international events during the next six months.
The events in which Pakistan are to feature are AFC Under-16 and Under-19 Championship qualifiers, SAFF Cup and South Asian Games.
The PFF has already decided not to field its colts in the Under-16 SAFF Cup to be held in Bangladesh next month due to financial problems.