Ashfaq group urged to show flexibility in stance [The News]

Ashfaq group urged to show flexibility in stance [The News]

KARACHI: Reacting to Ashfaq group’s rigorous conditions which it has set for Normalisation Committee state sources have said that in order to resolve the long-standing football issue Ashfaq group needs to show flexibility in its stance and vacate the PFF headquarters.

The sources said that after so much destruction of football for the last six years the state is very serious in playing a role of a guarantor in the whole process but there should be some ‘flexibility’ on the part of Ashfaq group.

“We want fair and transparent elections at the earliest. The Normalisation Committee wants to work with us as guarantor and Ashfaq group’s demand to have its member in NC will also be accepted but they should vacate the PFF headquarters,” a state source said.

Ashfaq group, meanwhile, in its conditions has made it clear that only a portion in the PFF headquarters will be handed over to the FIFA-appointed NC. The group has also set some more tough conditions which are not likely to be accepted by NC.

The IPC and PSB are playing the role of a guarantor and mediator in the dispute resolution process

Meanwhile a senior and most influential official of Balochistan Football Association (BFA) Haji Saeed Tikko also condemned the conditions of the Ashfaq group.

“I condemned these conditions,” Tikko told ‘The News’ from Chaman on Saturday.

Tikko remained part of the Ashfaq group with recent meeting with the IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza and he has already shown his stance which is very flexible.

“I had told Ashfaq group that NC should be handed over the PFF headquarters unconditionally. I had also conceded my views with our recent meeting with the IPC minister,” Tikko said.

“I want on one hand unconditional handover of the headquarters to NC and on the other I expect from NC that unlike in the past it will work in the right way and hold elections within the stipulated time-frame whatever will be,” Tikko said.

“I am going to Lahore next week and will again sit with the Ashfaq group and will try to convince it to reconsider its conditions and pave way for amicable settlement of the dispute which is very important now,” Tikko said.

Few days after Ashfaq group occupied the PFF headquarters last March FIFA suspended Pakistan in the first week of April. Pakistan is serving international isolation these days and has missed SAFF Cup held recently in the Maldives following the latest suspension. Before that the country’s football remained mostly inactive for six years not only on international front but also on the domestic front. The country not only missed a handful of its leagues and other vital tournaments but also lost a complete generation of footballers as those who were in their prime six years ago have now lost their gloss and those who were to start their careers at the age-group sector of AFC are also now stand nowhere.

Because of laxity on part of NC, which had been appointed by FIFA in September 2019, the nation has been confronting with the chronic football issue damaging millions of people depending on this sport.

Published in The News, 24 October 2021