FIFA Council decides to extend PFF normalisation panel mandate until March next year [Dawn]

FIFA Council decides to extend PFF normalisation panel mandate until March next year [Dawn]

by Umaid Wasim

The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee will get an eight-and-half month extension once its current mandate expires, it emerged on Saturday.

Elections of the PFF don’t seem to be happening soon with the FIFA-appointed NC, led by Haroon Malik, having only initiated the process of club scrutiny — the first step towards the polls to elect the president of the country’s football governing body.

It’s mandate was due to expire on June 30 but FIFA’s all-powerful Council, which met on Friday, has decided on giving it an extension till March next year.

“The FIFA Council has decided to extend the mandate of the normalisation committee of the PFF until 15 March 2024 at the latest,” a FIFA spokesperson told on Friday.

The PFF NC has been subjected to increasing pressure from the government, which is persistently advocating for prompt elections to be held.

At a recent parliamentary hearing, Haroon had said that he expected the election process to be completed by June next year. understands that the latest extension comes with FIFA also urging the NC to complete the election process as soon as possible.

The NC, which was appointed in September 2019, has been under fierce criticism for delaying the election process. NC chairman Haroon reiterated that his body had faced “persistent challenges” since it assumed office. Haroon and his NC was appointed in January 2021, following the resignation of the previous committee chairman Humza Khan, and Pakistan was suspended for a 15-month period from April 2021 to June last year after the NC was thrown out of office.

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 PFF elections are a multi-tiered process. Following polls at district levels, representatives elect the provincial football associations, which in turn will nominate members for the Congress which elects the PFF president.

Published in Dawn, 24 June 2023