PFF headquarters possession: Deadlock between NC, Punjab govt persists [The News]

PFF headquarters possession: Deadlock between NC, Punjab govt persists [The News]

by Alam Zeb Safi

KARACHI: The deadlock between Punjab government and FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee on a single point about PFF headquarters possession persists, credible sources told ‘The News’ on Saturday.

The two parties agreed on three points during a meeting at Lahore a few days ago which was also attended by a senior official of the Ministry of IPC.

However, sources told this correspondent that NC and the Punjab government were yet to reach an agreement on one point which was very complicated. Sources said if the deadlock did not end then the things could tilt towards a difficult situation which might harm Pakistan football further.

Sources said both parties are negotiating on the point and next week some positive development is expected.

Recently the IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza stated in a news conference in Islamabad that the PFF secretariat would be handed over to NC within two weeks by the Punjab government. The deadline expired on Thursday.

A few days ago a meeting among NC, Punjab government and IPC ministry was held in Lahore in which all parties developed consensus on most of the points. However, one point was left for further discussion. Sources said FIFA may impose a permanent ban on Pakistan if the handover process was delayed further because of some conditions which seem to be unacceptable to FIFA.

NC has been appointed by FIFA to conduct the PFF elections. Pakistan was suspended by FIFA in the first week of April last year for third party interference when Ashfaq group took control of the PFF headquarters and then refused to accept FIFA’s deadline for vacating the House.

On November 7, 2021, Punjab government sealed the PFF secretariat because of lease issues.

The PFF secretariat was constructed with FIFA’s massive financial support. Sources also mentioned that President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan want Pakistan’s football back in international circuit. It is only possible when the world body lifts the ban, a source said.

FIFA stated that the suspension would be lifted only when NC regained complete access to the PFF headquarters and accounts.

Pakistan football has been damaged during the last six years because of wrangling among various groups. Pakistan not only missed many international events but also failed to organise its domestic events which affected the careers of thousands of footballers.

Various departments dismantled their football teams when they saw that there was no future of football in Pakistan.

Published in The News, 20 February 2022