Footballers should only care about playing: Ashfaq [The News]

Footballers should only care about playing: Ashfaq [The News]

KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Ashfaq Hussain Shah says the footballers should think about playing football and stay away from politics.

Recently, a sidelined PFF Normalisation Committee official warned players against featuring in PFF-arranged football events. Shah is at loggerheads with the Normalisation Committee, which was placed by FIFA to run the PFF with the main mandate to hold the federation’s elections following a power struggle between different factions a couple of years ago.

Shah-led group, which won the last elections under the Supreme Court supervision, initially gave the reigns of the federation to the Normalisation Committee but after waiting for 18 months for elections, which the latter failed to hold, forcibly took over the PFF headquarters, the Football House in Lahore.

“We waited for 18 months for elections. That was enough. There was no will to hold elections,” Shah told PPI. The Shah-led PFF setup has recently announced football activities calendar with an under-23 tournament scheduled for next month.

“It is shameful to intimidate footballers. They already have had few opportunities to play the game,” Shah said.

He added that footballers should play whenever they get opportunity and stay away from federation politics. “They need not take sides,” he said. “Our footballers already don’t get to play enough. Most of the football events are organised be private sector. There have not been enough events organised by the federation,” he lamented.

Published in The News, 22 June 2021