Normalisation committee: FIFA delegation reaching Lahore tomorrow to conduct interviews [The News]

Normalisation committee: FIFA delegation reaching Lahore tomorrow to conduct interviews [The News]

KARACHI: A two-member delegation of FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will land in Lahore on Thursday (tomorrow) in connection with appointment of members to the normalisation committee which is to resolve the long-standing dispute between two groups of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) officials.

The delegation will interview nominees from both the factions. Both the PFFs have submitted with FIFA five nominees each for selection. The delegation will interview all the nominees and will pick two each from both factions. The committee’s task is to conduct club scrutiny, and hold elections at district and provincial levels as well as for PFF offices. It will have nine months to complete the task once it is notified.

According to sources, the interviews will be conducted at Lahore where the delegation will stay until August 20.

A couple of months ago a joint delegation of FIFA and AFC visited Lahore to interview both the federations. The world body later decided that it was important to go for elections of the PFF under its own supervision. FIFA has stated that the PFF constitution would be revised within one year after the new PFF ExCo took charge.

Since April 2015, Pakistan’s football has been passing through the most difficult phase of its history. Because of the conflict the nation missed several international events of different age-group teams and even missed three seasons of Premier League. Pakistan also faced FIFA’s sanctions for some time.

It was only in spring last year that the ban was lifted and Pakistan returned to international circuit with participation in Asian Games and SAFF Cup. However, after the Supreme Court-ordered elections in December last year, the FIFA-recognised PFF had to pack and hand over the PFF headquarters to the body headed by Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah.

The normalisation committee will also run day-to-day affairs of Pakistan’s football. It means that the Premier League and Pakistan’s age-group teams participation in a few events could be ensured. Pakistan’s senior team has no major event in a year.

Published in The News, 14 August 2019