Football in crisis: SSGC, KRL surviving courtesy friendlies [Express Tribune]

Football in crisis: SSGC, KRL surviving courtesy friendlies [Express Tribune]

by Natasha Raheel

KARACHI: With no chances of resumption of the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) or Division B league, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and the four-time PPFL champions KRL are playing a series of three matches to keep the game alive, simultaneously hoping for FIFA to solve the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) crisis.

Pakistani local clubs and departments have not been able to grow and the atmosphere for the development of football has been stagnant since the PFF controversy in 2015, as the two groups had been fighting over the right over the offices.

The PFF president since 2003 Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat was accused of the embezzlement of funds and manipulation of the electoral process to get his fifth term in the office by his rival faction. The case was then taken to the Lahore High Court, who then appointed an administrator to look after the federation.

However, FIFA does not recognise the administrator and just last month it has given out the statement that the PFF should sort the matters by July 31 or else the Members Association Committee would recommend FIFA Council to suspend PFF.

According to SSGC’s Saadullah, his departmental team is doing all it can to keep football and the players going despite the crisis.

“We are playing a three match series with KRL,” the Pishin-based midfielder told The Express Tribune. “We have some good players in the team now like Saddam Hussain, Mehmood Khan and Jadeed Khan Pathan, so it is a great chance for us to improve.”

However, the 23-year-old said that PPFL is the need of the time for the players. “We need a league because at the moment we are just trying to survive,” said Saadullah. “It’s unfair to the players; I hope that FIFA and the authorities can see this.”

He added that SSGC will be playing another friendly match with Army on August 7.

Published in The Express Tribune, 5 August 2017