Naveed offers to work with FIFA, AFC, NC to end impasse [The News]

Naveed offers to work with FIFA, AFC, NC to end impasse [The News]

KARACHI: Fearing that FIFA may impose permanent ban on Pakistan if the football matter is not resolved, Ashfaq Hussain Shah-led Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) vice-president Sardar Naveed Haider has offered his services to play a constructive role for resolving the football dispute.

“I am ready, willing and able to cooperate and work with FIFA, AFC and Normalisation Committee to resolve this long-standing crisis,” Naveed said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement came immediately after FIFA announced that the PFF NC’s mandate had been extended for three months.

Naveed said all football stakeholders must take a serious view of FIFA’s directives. He stressed that there should be a dialogue between NC and other major stakeholders in order to reach a conclusion. NC and the stakeholders needed to talk directly to find a solution, he was quick to add.

“I propose that NC should invite Ashfaq Shah group, Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat group and Zahir Ali Shah group to have a meaningful dialogue to resolve all misunderstandings, apprehensions and move towards holding fresh elections as per the PFF statutes,” he said.

NC should only work towards an acceptable electoral process at the district, provincial and national levels, Naveed said.

He said NC should ask all the three groups to nominate one person each to form a working committee. “This committee should immediately put forward their groups’ proposal to form an acceptable formula to conduct fair, transparent and honest elections,” he said.

He added that FIFA and AFC should appoint a senior official to ensure that the process was clear of any bias and anomalies and was conducted as per the PFF statutes.

“I, as the PFF vice-president, am ready to play a positive and constructive role if required,” he stressed. “We have wasted six years of our precious time and have played havoc with the aspirations, dreams and future of our young players, referees, coaches and officials,” he said.

“Let us not detract our thought process by talking about the past blunders. We should overcome the mistrust and our personal differences for a greater goal. Let’s . . . unite together for . . . great future of Pakistan and our people. If we miss this chance FIFA may impose a permanent and long suspension which will be more disastrous for the country’s football,” he said.

Published in The News, 2 July 2021