PFF election process to begin within days, says NC [Dawn]

PFF election process to begin within days, says NC [Dawn]

KARACHI: From months, it is now down to days. At long last, the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee has announced the election process of the country’s crisis-riddled football governing body is set to begin.

The mandate given to the Haroon Malik-led PFF NC by FIFA is due to expire at the end of next month with Friday’s announcement suggesting that it will receive an extension to complete the process.

The NC, which was appointed in September 2019 after years of crisis and controversy in the PFF, had been under fire from football officials as well as the government for its failure to begin the election process — the main part of its mandate.

A meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee was due to be held on Wednesday where it was due to take action against the PFF NC for the delay in elections but it was postponed to May 17 due to the law and order situation in the country.

In March, PFF NC chief Haroon had told a news conference, sitting alongside Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari, that the election process would begin after Eid-ul-Fitr.

“Following persistent efforts by the NC, the election process is set to commence within a matter of days,” a PFF NC news release said.

The NC has also been accused of partiality towards one of the factions vying for power and Haroon stressed that the NC has “no favourites”.

“We want free and fair elections to witness the genuine selection of a body that will effectively oversee the PFF affairs,” he was quoted as saying.

The election process is due to begin with the club scrutiny to finalise the voter list for the district elections with the PFF NC stating that the data collected through the Pakistan Football Connect platform being analysed at the moment.

The districts will then elect the provincial associations, nominees from which form the PFF Congress which elects the president.

In the news release, the PFF NC blamed the court cases against the country’s football governing body as well as the 15-month ban on Pakistan by FIFA, which was lifted in June last year, as the reason for the delay in starting the election process.

“Reflecting on the challenging journey of the NC, Haroon Malik … acknowledged the numerous crises and controversies, including ongoing court cases that have plagued the committee since July 2022,” the news release added.

“However, he expressed gratitude for FIFA’s unwavering support, as they have pledged their full backing to the NC’s pursuit of holding elections and stressed the utmost importance of upholding the Constitution.”

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2023