Football conflict may end in next few days [The News]

Football conflict may end in next few days [The News]

KARACHI: The football matter of Pakistan is expected to be resolved in the next few days as the government and FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee held a productive meeting in Islamabad on Thursday.

IPC secretary Mohsin Mushtaq and Director General of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (retd) Mohammad Asif Zaman held the meeting with the NC’s four-member delegation headed by its chairman Haroon Malik who has come to Pakistan from Canada.

According to a government official it was a “positive meeting”.

“It was a positive meeting and in the next two to three days some positive outcome of the meeting will be known. The things will get resolved InshaAllah,” the official told ‘The News’ after the meeting.

Asked how the fate of the PFF secretariat will be decided, the source said that that matter would also get resolved.

The PFF headquarters has been in control of the Punjab government because of lease issues. It has been learnt that the lease had been cancelled by the Punjab government in 2008 and now it could only be reversed with the approval of the Punjab cabinet.

The government source said that NC had been asked to submit its elections plans in the next two days.

The PSB will monitor the election process which will be handled by NC.

Meanwhile, Shahid Khokhar, a senior member of NC, said in a message after the meeting that they were in talks with the government.

“The things are moving rapidly. We expect a positive outcome soon,” Shahid wrote in the message.

In March this year Ashfaq Group had occupied the PFF headquarters which forced FIFA to suspend Pakistan in the first week of April.

In November, Punjab government occupied the PFF headquarters on the grounds that the lease agreement had been violated by the PFF.

The Ashfaq group has already approached higher judiciary and it will be interesting to see how the group fights in the whole episode as it formed PFF in December 2018 as a result of the orders of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, NC’s tenure will complete on December 31. According to sources, if there is a positive outcome of the meeting in the next few days then the world body may give a six-month extension to NC. This will be the fifth time that NC will get extension since its inception in September 2019.

It was a planned meeting called by IPC minister Dr Fahmida Mirza but she had to go abroad due to some emergency.

Published in The News, 24 December 2021