by Kashif Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry for Inter-Provincial Coordination has asked the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee to announce a date for the elections of the country’s football governing body in a weeks’ time, otherwise the government will approach global football body FIFA over the matter.
Federal Minister for IPC Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari held a meeting with PFF NC chairman Haroon Malik on Monday and showed grave concerns over the delay in the start of the election process.“We will not tolerate any further delay,” the IPC minister told Dawn on Tuesday. “The mandate of the PFF NC is to hold free and fair elections of the PFF and it has been asked to do that.”
The PFF has been mired in crisis and controversy since 2015 with FIFA appointing a Normalisation Committee in September 2019 to put football back on track in the country. But the election process is yet to begin with Pakistan also being suspended by FIFA for a 15-month period during that time after the Normalisation Committee was thrown out of office.
Mazari, however, is adamant that the election process should start sooner rather than later.
“I have given the Normalisation Committee a week to announce the election dates,” he added. “In case it isn’t announced, the IPC ministry and the government will approach FIFA. In the absence of an elected body, the country’s football has been suffering. Therefore, we will not tolerate any further delay in holding of elections. This is our principle stand.”
After the PFF headquarters were taken over by a group of officials led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah, who was elected president in polls of the PFF held by the Supreme Court which were not accepted by FIFA, the PFF NC had given the government an eight-month roadmap to hold elections once it was back in office.
The FIFA suspension was lifted at the end of June last year after the PFF NC regained control of the PFF headquarters. The NC has been claiming that a legal case regarding control of the PFF accounts, which is being heard, is a hindrance in holding elections but Dawn revealed in January that a new bank account had been opened to receive funding from FIFA.