LHC reserves judgment in PFF case [The News]

LHC reserves judgment in PFF case [The News]

KARACHI: Pakistan’s football conflict is expected to be resolved soon as Lahore High Court (LHC) has reserved its judgment after a series of hearings during the past few weeks.

Sources said the PSB did not press its case because it realised its weak legal position.

In last summer, LHC’s single bench had dismissed the PFF’s petitions it had filed against the PSB, but the PFF filed an intra-court appeal and LHC’s chief justice tasked a double bench to hear the case on priority basis.

For the last 20 months, there has been no football activity at the national level because of the tussle between two groups. One is led by the PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat, who is recognised by FIFA, and the other is led by former PFF congress members Arshad Lodhi and Syed Zahir Shah.

The problem was in fact created due to controversial elections of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) in April 2015.

Following a series of twists, the PFF suspended 20 members of the PFA for various reasons.

It prompted Faisal’s rival faction to convene an extra-ordinary meeting of the PFF Congress at Islamabad. In the meeting Faisal was suspended and his secretary Col Lodhi was terminated.

A few days later, the group occupied PFF headquarters at Lahore.

Despite the LHC’s stay order on June 29, Faisal’s group held its elections at Changla Galli, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on June 30 and Faisal was elected for the fourth successive time as PFF chief.

Consequently a contempt case was initiated against Faisal. The LHC declared the PFF’s June 30, 2015, elections as null and void and appointed former justice Asad Muneer as PFF administrator, who is still serving in the capacity. FIFA sent its fact-finding mission to Lahore in August 2015 and a couple of months later FIFA executive committee decided to give two years to Faisal-led PFF until September 2017 with instructions to revise the PFF constitution and hold elections afresh.

However nothing could be done in that direction because of legal issues.

Pakistan missed several international events because of litigation. For the last two years, Premier League could not be organised.

Published in The News, 6 January 2017