by Mohammad Yaqoob
LAHORE: The Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination and the Pakistan Sports Board Director General held a virtual meeting with the chairman of the FIFA-appointed Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee on Thursday, the latest in a series of meetings in an attempt to remove the suspension placed by the global football body on the country.
“Both me and [IPC Minister] Dr Fehmida Mirza held a virtual meeting and discussed different matters with PFF NC chairman Haroon Malik,” PSB DG Asif Zaman told Dawn.
Haroon has been in Canada since a group headed by Syed Ashfaq Shah forcibly took the control of the FIFA House from him in March before FIFA banned Pakistan.
Two members of the PFF NC, Haris Azmat and Shahid Khokhar, had earlier met Fehmida and the IPC minister asked Haroon to come back to Pakistan in order to solve the matter as soon as possible.
“The meeting with Haroon was held in a very positive way and hopefully upon his arrival in Pakistan things will move on a fast track to end the FIFA’s ban as soon as possible,” Asif added.
“Since I joined the PSB last month the issue of the PFF has been raised and we are trying to solve this matter in the best possible way and all efforts are being launched to solve it.
“I am hopeful that soon all the fighting groups will be on one page to move forward.”
He informed that Haroon would come back to Pakistan and a meeting would be held after the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Moreover, about the recent resolution of the general body of the Pakistan Olympic Association, in which it had expressed its concern over the sports ministry’s move of setting up Election Commission and the Appellate Tribunal to control the entire elections process of all the national sports federations, Asif said that there was a wrong perception and the sports ministry would continue to take all the stakeholders into the confidence before finalising the new sports policy.
“In the first phase the sports minister has held a meeting with four national sports federations and she will meet more federation heads as due to Covid-19 it is not possible to call all the stakeholders under one roof,” he said.
Earlier this week, the POA summoned an emergent meeting and showed a great concern over the news coming out that the government will form an Election Commission and an Appellate tribunal to fully control the election process of the national sports federations. The POA has warned that in result of it all the national sports federations will face suspension of their international’s chapters, like FIFA did with the PFF as no international body allows any sort of third’s party intervention, in the affairs of the national sports federations.