Footballers stage protest, demand restoration of FIFA-recognised PFF [The News]

Footballers stage protest, demand restoration of FIFA-recognised PFF [The News]

KARACHI: With the Lahore High Court (LHC) yet to give a date for hearing of the football matter following the Supreme Court’s advice, footballers of Karachi on Monday staged a protest demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club, demanding the restoration of the FIFA-recognised Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

The protesters, who were players of different clubs, also demanded of the Chief Justice of the LHC to protect the future of hundreds of thousands of footballers.

They said that the conflict had inflicted an unprecedented damage on the country’s football, adding that the only solution to the issue was the restoration of the FIFA-recognised PFF.“The FIFA-recognised PFF should be allowed to work independently,” they requested the LHC.

They strongly rejected the government’s involvement in the matter. “The government should accept under its own law the internationally-recognised PFF.”Later while talking to this correspondent, a senior official of Sindh Football Association (SFA) Rahim Bux Baloch alleged that Captain Safdar, son-in-law of the prime minister, was involved in the whole episode.

“There is no doubt about his involvement as the PFF headquarters were occupied by the rival group because of his support,” Rahim claimed.When asked what they would do if the court’s decision went against FIFA-recognised PFF, Rahim said that they would chalk out a further play of action after consulting all his friends.

A few days ago, similar protests were also held in Hyderabad, Abbottabad and other parts of the country.

The apex court in its hearing on April 6 had referred the case to the LHC with the instructions to decide the matter on merit.Earlier, the LHC had dismissed the petitions of the PFF and had asked the PFF administrator Asad Munir to hand over the control of the Federation to the newly-elected office-bearers within seven days.

However, it could not be implemented by the administrator on some legal grounds.In the meantime, Arshad Lodhi Group filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, requesting it to hold the PFF elections. The apex court accepted its appeal and on its second hearing the court set aside the decision of the LHC and referred the case back to it with the instructions to decide it on merit within six weeks.

Football in Pakistan has been inactive for the last two years because of the dispute that has also put in real danger the jobs of several hundreds footballers in the country.

Published in The News, 25 April 2017