Football in distress: ‘Formation of players association no easy task’ [Express Tribune]

Football in distress: ‘Formation of players association no easy task’ [Express Tribune]

KARACHI: The formation of a football players’ association in Pakistan will not be an easy task, according to former national captain and Tulsa Roughnecks striker Kaleemullah.

Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune last month that he had been in contact with FIFPro and that Pakistan will finally see a players’ union registered with the international body.

The registration process of the players is taking place, but Kaleemullah feels that the players need to show more enthusiasm and take a stand.

The 23-year-old is on a break from his United Soccer League season and believes that he will communicate with fellow footballers directly and invite departmental players to sign up for the association.

“It can be a frustrating process and many players don’t understand the benefits they will reap,” Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune. “I’ve called up as many players as I could from the US. I’m going to try again once I’m in Pakistan, I’ll ask departments to have their players sign up for it as well.”

It hasn’t been smooth sailing though. “So far it’s been hard for everyone to unite,” he said. “We need to do this as soon as possible since we haven’t had any footballing activity for almost a year-and-a-half now.”

Kaleemullah said the players should not hesitate about being part of the association and come together with one voice in order to get the Pakistan Football Federation issue resolved.

“If we have 200 players out on the streets or at press clubs, raising their voices together to resolve issues, only then will anyone hear us,” he said. “Otherwise the courts will drag the case on for another two years.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2016.