Premier league in consideration but issues need to be sorted: Shahid [The News]

Premier league in consideration but issues need to be sorted: Shahid [The News]

by Alam Zeb Safi

KARACHI: Besides handling several pressing matters FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee will also have to decide whether it should hold the Premier League this season or not.

Held last time in 2018-2019, the league is the backbone of the country’s football. It gives stuff to the national team and also is a big source of income for the players. The champion club also gets a chance to feature in the continental event on the basis of this league.

But there are so many technical issues which may hamper its conduct this season. The major challenge is that what will be its structure and which teams will feature in it when the government has abolished the departmental system. NC will need to seek written input from the state regarding the status of the departments before making a blue-print for holding the league.

Let’s ask NC’s senior member and league expert Shahid Khokhar and he will explain the actual plan.

“The league is in serious consideration but we will have to sort our several issues before going for this event,” Shahid told ‘The News’ in an interview on Friday. Shahid has served as Head League Development with the PFF in the past and has a vast experience of handling league and club development projects.

“The complications are there as departments have been closed,” Shahid said. “My personal opinion is that this is the best opportunity to introduce club culture which will help us a lot in future. But nothing has yet been decided and we will formally announce in a few days what we are going to do,” he said.

“Finances will not be an issue as we have reached an understanding with FIFA and within days we will be able to get its support,” Shahid said.

“Our main focus will be to revive Pakistan’s presence in international football and whatever we will be able to do we will do,” he said. “The first thing we will be going to do is to make the headquarters in order. It is in a miserable condition. There is no light, water, telephone or furniture. There is only one room with us in a good shape where we can sit,” Shahid said.

“There is no furniture in the hostel. In the dining hall, heaps of scraps can be seen and we will look whether we can use anything from that.

The top target is to bring in order the headquarters so that we could start hiring manpower for the secretariat as we will have to do a lot of work in the coming months,” Shahid said.

“For teams revival you need coaching staff, Director Technical, trainers and other relevant staff members and we will go for those tasks once we have the house in order,” he was quick to add.

“NC chairman Haroon Malik will announce some major things in his press conference which will be held after Eid-ul-Azha,” Shahid said.

As PFF accounts case is still in the court, Shahid said that with the advice of FIFA work has already been done on its “alternative” and that will not be an issue.

Shahid said that NC has received an overwhelming response from the genuine football community after FIFA lifted the ban.

“Everybody is so happy and wants to see football activities back. InshaAllah we will not disappoint them,” he said.

Published in The News, 2 July 2022