by Alam Zeb Safi
Karachi: With the country’s football future still uncertain, the vice-president of the newly-elected Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Sardar Naveed Haider has said that a “Supreme Council” will be formed to take decisions relating to football.
“We will form a Supreme Council which will comprise the PFF president and three vice-presidents. The council will be responsible for taking decisions relating to football,” Naveed told ‘The News’ in a detailed chat.
On the instructions of the Supreme Court, a new PFF was formed on December 12 at an electoral meeting in Islamabad. Amir Salim Rana, the Director General of the Human Rights Wing of the Supreme Court, conducted the elections as Returning Officer (RO). He was appointed by the apex court.
Ashfaq Hussain Shah of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was elected as the PFF chief. However, it is not clear for how much time he will serve in the office. It is also not clear how the world football governing body (FIFA) will react to the new development.
Before the electoral meeting, FIFA had hinted at sanctions which might be imposed on Pakistan if the court-ordered elections were held.
Besides Naveed, Zahir Shah and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Malik Amir Dogar, who belongs to Multan, were elected as vice-presidents.The newly-elected body tried to take charge from the FIFA-recognised PFF last Saturday but it was not given charge. It was told that it would need an order from the apex court for the purpose.
After taking over, the new body will have to appoint its secretary. Naveed said that an effort would be made to bring in a competent secretary. He was quick to add that the secretary would follow the instructions of the Supreme Council.
“The secretary will not make his own decisions but will work under the instructions of the Supreme Council,” Naveed said. He added that the top priority of the new setup would be to give health and life insurance to players and officials. He said that every step would be taken with due care.
“Sagacious decisions will be made for the betterment of football,” said Naveed, a former ally of FIFA-recognised PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat.
He said they would take steps which could help them form a strong fan base. “Soon after taking charge we will try to plan an inter-city event on the pattern of the Geo Super League,” Naveed said.
Geo Super League, held a few years ago, attracted good crowds. The league helped the authorities find a few good players who have now become permanent members of Pakistan team.
“I think we will need to follow the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) club licensing regulations in letter and spirit as only changing the names of the departments will not serve the purpose,” said Naveed, a former PFF Director Marketing.He said skilled and professional manpower would be hired for running various affairs of the PFF.
He said that quality work could be done with the grants both FIFA and AFC were giving to Pakistan. “If you work sincerely the things will improve,” said Naveed, also the president of Punjab Football Association (PFA).
He said that Balochistan and Sindh would also be taken in the fold. Sindh and Balochistan stayed away from the December 12 elections because they favoured the FIFA-recognised PFF.
The future of the ongoing Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) is also not clear. If FIFA imposed sanctions on Pakistan, the league might have to be stopped.Naveed told ‘The News’ last week that they would sit with the teams and after taking their input would decide about the league.