by Alam Zeb Safi
LAHORE: With the meeting date of Pakistan’s government with FIFA and AFC getting closer, football stakeholders have expedited their efforts to target the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee for its alleged unfair actions.
A vigorous protest was held in front of the Karachi Press Club on Sunday. A similar step is set to be taken in Chaman on Tuesday (today) where former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa will address a news conference at the Chaman Press Club.
He will be flanked by former international players Zahid Hameed and bunch of other international footballers and stakeholders. “Yes, we are going to hold a press conference here at Chaman Press Club tomorrow,” Essa told ‘The News’ from Chaman, Balochistan, on Monday.
“NC is violating the mandate of FIFA. NC conducted a controversial election of the Pakistan Football Referees Association (PFRA). The way scrutiny is being conducted and the way the situation is heading towards disaster is creating doubts that NC will not be able to hold transparent elections of the PFF,” Essa said.
“We will also talk about the restoration of domestic football and departmental teams. We will also talk on club status as NC has no authority to change the status of clubs,” said the former playmaker.
“AFC have already accepted the departmental teams as clubs. You are going to abolish departments and hold controversial elections which would put the country’s football in deeper quagmire,” Essa said.
“Our plan is simple as stakeholders are coming from Balochistan, Sindh, KP, Islamabad and Punjab. Players, coaches, referees and former Pakistan captains will be here with us to raise our voice against NC’s illegal steps,” Punjab Football Association’s (PFA) former chief Naveed Haider told ‘The News’ on Monday.
“Our stand is clear. NC, under the chairmanship of Haroon Malik, has blatantly violated the constitution of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). It has gone against the mandate given to it by FIFA,” Naveed said.
“They have not done anything on domestic football front and on international front they have rather mostly used foreign players and did not focus on homegrown footballers.
It’s a tragedy. They have not paid dues to men’s and women’s teams of various age-groups and senior teams. The PFRA elections were also illegal. They have no authority to go for such elections as this is the prerogative of the PFRA,” Naveed said.
“The scrutiny being conducted is just a drama. They have not yet unveiled details of the registered clubs. Nobody knows which clubs have fulfilled the requirements of the PFF. So how can you do the scrutiny of the unregistered clubs?” Naveed said.
“You don’t have the right to give voting rights to any club. The newly registered clubs will be given voting rights two years after their registration,” Naveed said.
“They are just busy in self promotion. They have no intent to take Pakistan to transition period,” Nasir signed off.