by Natasha Raheel
KARACHI: Pakistan’s leading football players, including Kaleemullah, Saddam Hussain, and Saadullah, are set to take a serious stand for the revival of football in the country by forming a players’ association.
According to national midfielder Saadullah, the footballers will be coming together in Lahore after Eid to rectify the damage done to the sport due to infighting and power politics.
“We don’t think that the officials or the courts want football to thrive,” Saadullah told The Express Tribune. “Our aim is simple, we’ll gather in Lahore in July as we need to stand for our rights and concerns.”
And the 22-year-old is confident that a players’ association can help them. “A players’ association will give us a platform to raise our voice; otherwise it’s all about the officials fighting each other and the court or the government doing nothing,” he said. “They will waste years this way. We can come out on the roads too, but we are just waiting for the right time.”
Saadullah added that the key players are in contact with each other and have started enlisting other footballers to the cause.
Meanwhile, Hussain echoed Saadullah’s views and said that the solution to the problems of the players.
“If it doesn’t get solved now, it will never happen,” said Hussain. “The youth sides are in tatters, while the national team hasn’t played for more than a year. The players don’t want politics, but we do need our rights.”
Earlier, Kaleemullah had also announced that he is in touch with the FIFPro’s — the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional football players — Asia deputy chairman and Pakistan will establish its first football players’ association this year.
He had added that it will not just be about the men’s problems, but will include concerns over women’s football too.
The Pakistan Football Federation has been under scrutiny by the Lahore High Court, and two groups of officials have been claiming their right on the sport’s offices.