by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: The Ashfaq Group is keen to make the PFF Normalisation Committee “legally” bound to hold the federation’s elections within a specific time-frame and according to the Constitution.
Sources within the group told ‘The News’ that the group will try its best to convince the courts, during future hearings relating to PFF accounts and PFF headquarters lease matters, that NC should be legally bound to do its job of holding elections within a set time-frame.
A source in the Ashfaq group told this correspondent that NC should be bound not to spend the Rs137.7 million which is placed in the PFF accounts as it has been released by FIFA for Jhang Goal Project. The source further said there are 2143 clubs as per 2014 PFF Constitution with 1700 having voting rights and remaining 443 enjoying paying rights.
“It’s not a big process and NC should verify these clubs and if there are any fake clubs they should be excluded. There is no need of registration of new clubs at this stage as they will not be able to get voting rights; as per the Constitution they get voting rights after two years of registration,” the source said.
The source said that all districts and provincial bodies are intact as per the PFF Constitution and NC will have to write letters to these bodies while launching the electoral process.
The source said that former NC chairman Hamza Khan had abolished all district and provincial bodies but acting NC chairman Muneer Sadhana restored them. The source said that as per PFF Constitution these bodies will work until new elections are held.
The source said that the election time-frame could be discussed.
NC has already submitted a time-frame with the IPC ministry, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), former Prime Minister and President of Pakistan in which it promised that it will hold the PFF elections within eight months.
The source said that during an NC meeting held in October 2020 electoral code was approved. “In this meeting, it was also decided in principle that as FATA was acting as an associate member of the PFF before it was officially merged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so its status will remain the same until the new PFF Congress takes a decision about it,” the source said.
The source said as seven years have been wasted because of the conflict the eligibility of candidates will need to be debated and a criterion will have to be determined before going for elections.
Meanwhile, sources in NC said that it may face constitutional challenges and efforts would be made to sort out various issues which could impede fair and transparent elections.
The hearing of PFF accounts case will be held on June 4 at the District Courts, Lahore.
Once NC regains access to the PFF accounts, Pakistan’s membership of FIFA will be restored. Pakistan was banned by FIFA in April 2021, days after the Ashfaq group occupied the PFF headquarters in Lahore. In November 2021, the Punjab government sealed the PFF House over lease issues.
However, in the recent past due to the intervention of the former IPC minister Dr Fehmida Mirza, the possession of the PFF headquarters was given to NC.
A FIFA Congress meeting in Doha recently decided that Pakistan’s suspension should be lifted once the “pertinent matters” have been resolved.
Independent sources said if the flawed PFF Constitution is followed then it will not be easy to hold the PFF elections as numerous challenges will be up for NC then.