NC chairman Haroon assures timely PFF elections [The News]

NC chairman Haroon assures timely PFF elections [The News]

by Alam Zeb Safi

KARACHI: FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) chairman Haroon Malik on Saturday said that the committee is fully committed to complete the electoral process of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) within the stipulated time-period as mentioned in the PFF Constitution.

“The election process is mentioned in the Article 90 of the PFF Constitution and we will complete the process within that time-frame and inshaAllah within that period we will be able to hand over the affairs of the federation to the elected PFF,” Haroon told ‘The News’ after holding a press conference at Lahore.

Haroon said that in August club registration process would start. “After the club registration there will be the process of scrutiny and it will have two phases. The first phase is the data verification of the clubs which they will submit through FIFA Connect ID and then we will have to verify it through ‘on ground scrutiny’. And for that we plan to hold district championships which will be very helpful in that connection,” he said.

Haroon hoped that the NC would be able to receive funds from FIFA soon. “Although the PFF accounts are frozen as the matter is still in the court, we are hopeful that in the next two to three weeks we will be able to get funds from FIFA through the alternative arrangements which will help us start implementing our plans,” he said.

Haroon is determined to field the Pakistan women team in the SAFF Women Championship which will be hosted by Nepal in September.

“The SAFF Women Championship will be our priority as we would like to give some relief to the players who suffered during the last one and a half years,” Haroon said.

“We have confirmed entry in this event and the event’s actual status will become clear by Monday. India has asked for a two weeks delay and Bangladesh has asked for a three weeks delay. Nepal has said that they will not be able to delay it by more than one week. So by Monday we will be able to know the actual position,” Haroon said.

The committee chairman wants football active both at the national and international levels. “Definitely we have the plans to revive activities both at the national and international levels. I cannot say anything at this stage about the league as we have to sort out various things relating to that but there is no doubt in it that we want domestic football activities back as soon as possible,” the NC chief said.

Although during the next few months Pakistan will be able to field their teams in the various age-group continental events but there is no big event in sight for the senior team. And only on FIFA Days until June 30, 2023, NC may manage some matches for the senior team. Haroon is very much keen to see his senior team also resume its international activities.

“You know, in advance the associations plan for FIFA Days engagements. We are in touch with various associations and let’s see how we can get something for our national team. We are definitely interested to see our senior team play international matches,” Haroon said.

About the National Women Football Championship which was postponed last year at the semi-finals stage when Ashfaq Group occupied the PFF headquarters, Haroon said that there are various issues which will have to be evaluated before taking a decision about that.

“I cannot say at this stage that we will complete that event. We will have to know the existing strength of the teams and some departments have de-notified their teams. Yes we are very much up for taking a fresh start in this sector,” Haroon said.

“As far as the question of non-payment to some teams of the national women event is concerned so it was not the case that NC did not pay to some teams but it was the mistake of the teams who did not fulfill the required criteria and did not complete the documents like opening bank accounts,” Haroon clarified.

FIFA a few days ago lifted suspension from Pakistan which it had imposed on it in April last year due to third party’s interference and also extended the committee’s mandate until June 30, 2023.

Earlier Haroon told the news conference that the disciplinary committee will be formed to keep a close eye on irregularities in various cases so as to protect the assets of PFF in the interest of the football community.

Published in The News, 17 July 2022