PFF issue to be discussed by Senate committee [The News]

PFF issue to be discussed by Senate committee [The News]

By Alam Zeb Safi

KARACHI: Pakistan’s football matter will be discussed in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 11:30am at the Old PIPS Hall Parliament Lodges, Islamabad.

‘The News’ has reliably learnt that the agenda paper also carries “football” with the message that Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) would brief the committee on the recent issues with FIFA.

Sources said that keeping in view the matter, the PSB has written a letter to the PFF’s court-appointed administrator Justice (retd) Asad Muneer with the instructions to attend the meeting and also prepare a working paper.

It is not yet certain if Asad will attend the meeting.

When this correspondent approached Asad on phone on Monday he refused to say a word about the issue.

The PSB leadership, most probably its Director General Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, will attend the meeting.

But the issue is that there is no longer any link between the PSB and the PFF as the latter got disaffiliated from the Board for failing to implement national sports policy.

The PFF had also contested a legal battle against the PSB by challenging its legal status.

It would be interesting to see what point of view the PSB would give to the committee in the meeting which would be chaired by PML-N Senator Saud Majeed, who is from Bahawalpur.

A source said that Saud, also a former MNA, has a vision for sports and it is expected that a meaningful discussion would be held on football.

Last month FIFA suspended PFF because of third party’s interference in its matters.

FIFA made it clear that unless the PFF’s headquarters in Lahore and its accounts were handed over to the PFF, the suspension would not be lifted.

But the matter is in courts, which has made the issue more complicated with the leading sports authorities not knowing how to resolve the matter.

Lahore High Court (LHC) will hear the case on November 14.

The 37-member FIFA Council has ratified Pakistan’s suspension decision which had been originally taken by Bureau of FIFA Council on October 10.

In the post-council briefing, FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino mentioned that the world body had already set conditions regarding those associations which had been suspended. Once those were fulfilled it would hardly take FIFA a few minutes and suspension would be lifted, he added.

The Army chief of the country has advised the federal government to tackle the issue on priority basis.

Last week the football issue was discussed in the meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and a delegation of the ministry of IPC and PSB.

In the meeting, which was also attended by the federal minister for IPC Riaz Pirzada, PM took keen interest in football issue and stressed that it should be resolved.

Various sources associated with the matter are convinced that unless FIFA’s rules were accepted it would be difficult to resolve the matter.

When this correspondent asked FIFA on Monday whether Pakistan’s government had approached it, its spokesman said: “We have no updates regarding the situation of the PFF.”

Because of the issue no Pakistan team has toured abroad since April 2015.

The country also missed its two Premier League seasons which have added to the miseries of the footballers.