Dubai meeting to discuss Pakistan football postponed [The News]

Dubai meeting to discuss Pakistan football postponed [The News]

by Alam Zeb Safi

LAHORE: The meeting between the Pakistani government, FIFA, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee, which was scheduled to be held in Dubai on December 12, has been surprisingly postponed.

The PFF NC has conveyed the message of postponement to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the IPC Ministry. This correspondent learnt that the state has also written an email to FIFA for reconfirmation of the decision.

“Yes the meeting has been postponed,” PFF NC chairman Haroon Malik told ‘The News’ on Saturday.

Asked about the reason behind the postponement Haroon said that he wanted to resolve a few things before the meeting.

“I hope the meeting will be held in near future. I want to resolve certain things before the meeting. And if it is done then we can go for the meeting in January or early February,” Haroon said.

When asked about the things which need to be resolved, Haroon said the things are in progress and hopefully they will soon reschedule the meeting.

Haroon said that they have conveyed the message to the government regarding the postponement of the meeting.

Asked whether it was NC’s intent to postpone the meeting as it wanted to resolve certain things Haroon said: “No, it’s not the case as such decisions are mutually agreed upon. Now the thing is that the meeting has been postponed and it will be rescheduled soon,” he said.

Meanwhile a top state official told The News that they have no such information regarding the postponement of the meeting.

“NC has forwarded us an email that the meeting has been postponed. We don’t know whether it is NC’s personal intent behind all this. And for now the meeting is in tact. We have already written an email to FIFA and are waiting for their response,” the official said.

Asked what he sees behind such a move to postpone the meeting at a time when football stakeholders are staging protests every day against NC’s alleged unconstitutional acts the official said that may be NC does not want the state’s officials to meet FIFA and AFC.

“I think it may be a move from NC so that we may not present our point of view before FIFA and AFC and the reservations which stakeholders are showing here during protests across the country,” he said.

“We are ready for the meeting. Let’s see what reply we receive from the world body,” the official was quick to add.

An NC source told ‘The News’ that FIFA does not write directly to the state’s owned bodies but it rather coveys its message through its affiliated PFF and as per instructions of FIFA NC has informed the state’s sports bodies about the postponement of the meeting.

FIFA had proposed a meeting with the Pakistan’s government officials in Dubai from September 11-13 through a letter it wrote in July but due to busy schedule of officials of various parties it could not be held.

After that some more options were weighed and eventually it was decided that the meeting among the various parties will be held on December 12 in Dubai.

Published in The News, 10 December 2023