‘Efforts on to keep Pakistan away from FIFA ban’ [The News]

‘Efforts on to keep Pakistan away from FIFA ban’ [The News]

by Abdul Mohi Shah

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee’s chairman Haroon Malik has said that he would pursue the country’s case in the strongest possible way to avoid a five-year ban on Pakistan football during FIFA’s virtual meeting scheduled for today (Friday).

In an exclusive talk with ‘The News’ from Canada, Haroon thanked the federal government and Ministry for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) for realising gravity of the situation and standing with the Normalisation Committee.

“I have communicated to the FIFA that the government (Ministry for IPC) is playing its role positively and is deeply involved to resolve the issue. I am in constant touch with the FIFA. Though imposing a five-year ban on the PFF is part of the FIFA’s plan, however I will make all possible efforts to convince the game’s governing body not to take such a step and wait for the outcome of our combined efforts.”

He added that the suspension that is already there would only be lifted once the NC advises the FIFA.

“The game’s governing body is looking at me. The suspension will be lifted once I as the chairman advises the game’s governing body that Football House has been restored. There is no other solution to this stalemate and everyone should keep this in mind.”

“Minister for IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza has met with all the stakeholders and assured them that the FIFA House will be vacated very shortly by the occupiers. I am fighting to avoid any further sanctions. Let’s hope things get better.”

He said that the group that has occupied the FIFA House in Lahore was constantly making statements that they would not vacate it.

“They are sending messages to the FIFA. They have also sent inappropriate communications to the FIFA. The latest one is telling the FIFA that they will not vacate it and the FIFA and AFC must come to the table to negotiate with them. It means they are trying their best to get Pakistan banned by the FIFA,” he added.

Published in The News, 21 May 2021