by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Faisal Saleh Hayat-led PFF has decided to go for intra-court appeal against Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order for fresh elections within four months.
The LHC has dismissed the petitions of Faisal-led PFF which challenged the legal entity of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to protect itself from being affected by the tenure-restriction clause of the national sports policy, which does not allow any body to rule a federation for more than two four-year tenures.
The court has also declared the elections of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) null and void and ordered fresh polls.
A three-member committee comprising the secretaries of Sports Board Punjab (SBP), Sports Board Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry has been assigned the task to conduct the elections under the charter of PFF within the same time-frame.
Faisal-led PFF will challenge the verdict as soon as it gets a copy of it.
Football activities have remained halted in the country for the last 14 months because of the legal dispute between the two groups.
A FIFA spokesman on Tuesday told ‘The News’ that the world football governing body was monitoring the situation. “FIFA is monitoring the situation,” the spokesman said.
“Definitely we will go for the intra-court appeal,” a source in Faisal group told this correspondent.
In case Faisal group fails to get relief through intra-court appeal which will be heard by a double bench it may go to the Supreme Court.
Experts say if the PFF elections are held and a new body is formed, FIFA will not back it. “FIFA cannot go against its stand it has taken in the matter by giving Faisal group two years for revising the PFF constitution and holding fresh elections,” a source who knows FIFA’s affairs well said.
In August last year, a three-member fact-finding mission of FIFA visited Lahore and probed the matter by interviewing members of both parties.
In the light of the report submitted by the mission, FIFA’s executive committee in late September gave Faisal-led PFF two years till September 2017.
But as several cases had already been filed by both the groups in courts FIFA’s instructions could not be followed, which happens in a situation when local laws clash with the international rules.
Some experts argue that FIFA should have ordered fresh elections instead of giving two years to Faisal group.
A former PFF official says that Pakistan may face sanctions from FIFA if a new PFF is formed following court’s orders.
In 1989 FIFA sent a fact-finding mission to Pakistan which after a thorough probe ordered for fresh elections.
Atta Mohammad Pathan, a PPP member from Sindh, through the support of some other leading figures, revolved against the sitting PFF president Aftab Sherpao, also a PPP politician then.
Sherpao was told by the PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto to dissolve the PFF Congress, but he opted to resign.
Former Senate Chairman Waseem Sajjad was made PFF chief for an interim period before fresh elections were held in which Atta Mohammad became the PFF president.
A source said that the hearing of contempt of court case which has been filed against Faisal Saleh Hayat and his associates would be held on June 16.
“A charge sheet has been prepared against Faisal group,” a source who was present in the previous hearing, said.