Possible FIFA sanctions: CJP urged to rescue football league [The News]

Possible FIFA sanctions: CJP urged to rescue football league [The News]

KARACHI: The officials of the Premier League teams on Wednesday demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistan ensure that the ongoing league continues and is not affected if world football governing body (FIFA) imposes sanctions on the country.

“We are in a great fix, not knowing what would happen to our league if FIFA imposed sanctions as a result of the elections of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) (to be held on December 12 in Islamabad),” a team official told ‘The News’.

“It is clear that the PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat will not take part in the elections. He has also written a letter to FIFA and it is expected that the world body will ban Pakistan. In that case our league could stop. We have spent a lot of money and it will be a huge loss if we are told to go home before completing the league,” the official said.

FIFA has warned if elections are held as per directives of the apex court, Pakistan may face sanctions.

“Should elections at the PFF take place on a date that is imposed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan this would be considered undue influence in the sense of the FIFA Statutes. Consequently the matter would then be presented to the relevant FIFA bodies for consideration and possible action, which may include the suspension of the PFF,” FIFA told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

Another official said that the AFC’s decision to deny Pakistan an AFC Cup place has taken the spirit out of the league.

“Stopping it (the league) would hurt the players once again. It was a huge loss when Pakistan was denied AFC Cup slot and if we are asked to go home after elections are held and Pakistan faced sanctions it would jeopardise once again the careers of the players and the investment which has been made by departments would also be wasted,” the official said.

It was after three long years that Premier League was restored this season following the reinstatement of PFF by courts. The apex court’s decision on November 14 that the PFF elections would be held within one month has caused anxiety in the football fraternity.

As many as 14 outfits are fighting in the country’s top-tier league which concludes early next month.Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Bahawalpur’s Asim Sugar Mills have already pulled out of the competitions due to financial issues.

An official said that the league would stop. He added that a PFF official was expected to arrive in Karachi with the aim to pay all dues to the participating teams.“This is a clear indication that something undesirable is going to happen,” the official said.

Published in The News, 6 December 2018