IPC minister steps in to resolve Football House row [The News]

IPC minister steps in to resolve Football House row [The News]

ISLAMABAD: The officials of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) having control of the Football House in Lahore Thursday demanded a clear roadmap for holding the PFF elections as well as active participation in the whole process before vacating the House or showing their unconditional support for any neutral committee.

PFF president Ashfaq Hussain Shah, Ch Mohamad Salim (president Islamabad Football Association) and former international Sharafat Bokhari called on the Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza at her office and reiterated their stance.

The meeting was also attended by Mohsin Mushtaq (secretary IPC) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) director general Col (r) Asif Zaman.

“We have pledged our full cooperation to any neutral committee with an aim of holding free and fair PFF elections. FIFA should nominate a neutral committee having the mandate to hold elections of the body. We only want a clear roadmap for the elections and our participation in the whole process. We will surely cooperate but at some conditions. What we believe is in free and fair elections of around 1600 clubs from across the country,” Sharafat Hussain Bokhari told ‘The News’ after the meeting.

Fehmida convened the meeting of both groups to settle the ongoing dispute.

Haroon Malik (Normalization Committee head) was out of the country and could not turn up for the meeting.

The minister said that the government as a neutral observer wanted to hear both sides and wants the Normalization Committee to conduct fair elections.

“The government wants that football games should be revived for the sake of football fans and all steps must be taken for the betterment of players and officials which require cooperation from all stakeholders,” she added.

The PFF delegation briefed its stance to the Federal Minister after being banned by FIFA.

“We didn’t violate FIFA constitution clauses. We have handed over the FIFA House to the committee on the pretext that it would go on to hold free and fair elections. That did not happen neither there are any clues that the Normalization Committee is serious to hold elections,” Ashfaq Hussain Shah, said.

The minister added that the government was ready to play its role to resolve these issues as an impartial mediator. The ministry is planning to hold another meeting once Haroon Malik returns from abroad.

Published in The News, 16 April 2021