Great that court’s fast-tracking case: Essa [Express Tribune]

Great that court’s fast-tracking case: Essa [Express Tribune]

by Natasha Raheel

KARACHI: Former national captain Essa Khan, who is leading the players’ movement against the current state of football in the country, believes the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision to hear the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) case on a daily basis from September 27 is a good sign.

A number of former international footballers are attempting to form a players’ association that will be holding a demonstration in Karachi tomorrow.

The LHC’s decision is a result of a dispute since almost two years, with FIFA supporting Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat as the genuine head of the PFF and the court appointing Asad Munir to run the federation’s affairs and hold elections.

Now the court has ordered the PFF elections to be delayed while the case is being heard on a fast-track basis from the end of this month.

“We want a solution and it’s great that the court is fast-tracking the hearing,” Essa told The Express Tribune. “It’s the footballers who have suffered the most. There haven’t been any matches — local or international. So it’s a positive sign.”

Competitive football at the highest level in Pakistan has lain dormant since almost two years as the power tussle between two rival factions of the PFF continues.

Former international footballers including Gohar Zaman and Muhammad Qasim, Yasir Afridi have joined the association.

Meanwhile, the younger lot like Saddam Hussain and Saadullah are yet to join in.

Saddam said he will support any movement that champions the rights of the players, but he needs more details about the plan.

“There is no point of playing so many local tournaments which are not endorsed by the national federation, so something needs to be done,” said the midfielder. “However, we are yet to be approached for the demonstration.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2016.