LAHORE: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on Wednesday alledged that administrator Asad Munir in a blatant violation of the Lahore High Court (LHC) order refused to hand over the control of the federation to it on Wednesday.
“Despite explicit orders by a division bench of the Lahore High Court the administrator has not handed over the control of PFF to its elected body,” the PFF said in a press release. The LHC has upheld the June 30, 2015, PFF elections the other day and ordered the administrator to immediately hand over the control of the PFF to the body which had been formed as a result of that election.
The PFF said that Syed Khadim Ali Shah, senior vice-president of PFF, had been authorised by the PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat to take the charge of the federation from the administrator.
When the PFF elected members headed by Khadim reached the PFF headquarters, they found that the administrator and his staff had already left after locking the secretariat entry gates, the release said. “The PFF elected members kept waiting for two hours there in the presence of media,” the release said.
It quoted Faisal as saying that if according to the latest promise made by the administrator complete charge of PFF was not handed over to the elected body it would exercise all legal remedies available.
When ‘The News’ contacted Asad Munir, he said: “Tomorrow I will meet them and everything will be made final.”Meanwhile, a source in the PFF’s rival group told ‘The News’ that they had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the LHC’s order. “The Arshad Lodhi group filed an appeal today in the apex court. The apex court also issued notices to the parties concerned,” the source claimed.
The source said that the plea of Arshad Lodhi group was that one group held its elections on June 30, 2015, despite the court’s restraining order while the other group decided against that due to the stay order.
The court punished that group which had followed its stay order and rewarded that party which had held its elections against its restraining order.The source said that the apex court had been requested to order that status quo be maintained.
Faisal Saleh Hayat was left waiting on Wednesday for the possession of the FIFA House, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) headquarters, despite having been declared as the country’s football chief by the Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench.
In its judgment, the LHC deemed legal the presidential election of Hayat held on 30 June 2015 despite having also upheld an earlier provincial election which was won by a rival faction to Hayat’s, whose elected members were not present in the PFF polls.
Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, a spokesperson of the Hayat faction, told Dawn that even though they visited the FIFA House on Tuesday and Wednesday, the administrator — a retired justice appointed by the court when the dispute broke in the PFF in 2015 — did not hand over the control.
“On Tuesday, we were asked to come on Wednesday with attested copies of the LHC orders but when we arrived on Wednesday the administrator said he was in Karachi and would come back to Lahore on Thursday.”
The Hayat faction meanwhile issued a statement late on Wednesday night saying that it will “adopt all legal remedies available” to gain possession of the FIFA House.
“Despite of explicit orders by the Division Bench Lahore High Court, the Administrator has not handed over the control of PFF to its elected body,” it said.
“Syed Khadim Ali Shah, PFF senior vice-president, was authorised by the PFF president to take the charge of PFF from the administrator.
“But on February 28, as per administrator’s given words, when the PFF elected members reached at PFF Headquarters at 12 pm, the administrator and his staff had already left while locking the entry gates.
“PFF president has said that if according to the latest promise made by the administrator, complete charge of PFF is not handed back to its elected body, we will adopt all legal remedies available.”
The rival faction, meanwhile, is in the process of filing a petition against the LHC’s decision in the Supreme Court.
Sardar Naveed, however, said he had no information about it. “They [rival faction] might have done that but I have no such information,” he said.
Pakistan was banned by FIFA in October last year after the global football body deemed the appointment of the court-appointed administrator as “third-party interference”.