Questions raised over neutrality of FIFA body members [The News]

Questions raised over neutrality of FIFA body members [The News]

LAHORE: Senior Vice President SAFF, Syed Khadim Ali Shah, who is also president Sindh football association, has raised serious questions on the neutral character of chairman and one of the members of recently announced FIFA normalization committee.

“We the genuine stakeholders of the football in Pakistan are greatly disappointed on the appointment of Hamza Khan as the chairman of the committee and Col (retd) Mujahid Tareen as one the members,” Khadim said in a statement.

“How can they play neutral role when Hamza is ex-captain of Karachi United and a very close ally of Taha Ali Zai, chief of Karachi United FC who had represented Ashfaque group during the meeting with FIFA and AFC joint fact finding mission during their first visit to Pakistan June 2015. They had on many occasions attended the court hearings as a counsel to represent Ashfaque Hussain and party, and on the other hand, Mujahid Tareen is a part and parcel of Ashfaque Hussain group since the beginning of the whole turmoil, he was among the leaders of the mob who attacked PFF secretariat in Lahore on June 20, 2015 and forcibly occupied by them” Shah added.

He further said that he is among the persons against whom an application was launched in the area police station regarding the 20 June 2015 incident. He also quoted the regulations published by FIFA while announcing the formation of normalization committee in June 2019 which say about the chairman/member of the committee “being neutral in or external to the recent disputes in Pakistan football”, another criteria laid down by the FIFA for the chairman/member was having no material or familial relationship with any member of either party in the disputes or with any member of the PFF administration”.

Referring to these clauses, Khadim Ali said that FIFA and AFC, who have always remained a source of inspiration for all football lovers in Pakistan, have themselves gone against their laid down stature for the appointment of the members of normalization committee.

Published in The News, 15 September 2019