‘Conspirators still trying to damage Pakistan football’ [The Nation]

‘Conspirators still trying to damage Pakistan football’ [The Nation]

LAHORE- A meeting of Punjab football sponsored by the government was held here at Gulberg Government College under the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and was chaired by Hafiz Salman Butt, who was declared persona-non-grata by FIFA, it has been learnt reliably on Sunday.

The reliable sources confirmed The Nation that out of 36 districts of Punjab Football Association (PFA), only 11 attended the meeting which clearly reflects no confidence in the government-supported body. This is despite provincial government supported people leaving no stone unturned in employing government resources to induce district members to attend this meeting.

“Another important aspect to be noted is that among the holders of this said illegal meeting, the persons, who claimed to be PFA president and secretary, are serving a long-time ban imposed by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) disciplinary committee and are barred from taking part in any football related activity,” the sources said.

An inside source also confirmed that once again all the Punjab congress members were pressurized to attend this meeting, which was backed by the government despite clear orders from Lahore High Court (LHC) double bench that government and sports board will not interfere in any matter of Pakistan Football Federation. “Majority of the districts in Punjab have already extended their full support and confidence in the PFA, which is duly affiliated with PFF,” they said.

The question arises here that is how an individual, who is banned by FIFA, is chairing ‘so called’ football association meetings in the capital of largest province of Pakistan and utilizing government facilities?  The sources said that a few participants of the meeting took up the issue of squandering of PFF resources by Salman Butt and his cronies by occupying PFF headquarters for the last three years and getting 35 million as their salaries and not rolling a single football event during this time frame.

After FIFA lifted the suspension on PFF earlier this month, all football fans, players and fraternity are looking forward for national and international competitions to return but the same people, who were involved in the destruction of football in Pakistan, are once again hatching conspiracies against development of football in Pakistan.

Published in The Nation, 27 March 2018