PSB irked by NC’s WhatsApp elections decision [The News]

PSB irked by NC’s WhatsApp elections decision [The News]

by Abdul Mohi Shah

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has expressed its displeasure over the decision by the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) Normalization Committee (NC) to conduct the elections through WhatsApp, saying that such a venture could trigger controversies.

The PSB however advised the NC to look for alternative methods that could prioritize transparency and accessibility. In the letter written to the NC chairman, the PSB wrote that transparency was a must for the electoral process.

“As a major stakeholder, the PSB believes it is essential to express our concerns regarding certain aspects of the proposed election procedure. First and foremost, it has come to the notice of this office that there are significant concerns among various stakeholders regarding transparency and fairness of the proposed election process. Transparency and fairness are fundamental principles that must underpin any democratic election, particularly in bodies as influential as FIFA.

There are major concerns among several stakeholders regarding the use of WhatsApp as the platform for conducting the elections.” Never before such a voting system has been evolved by any federation in Pakistan where WhatsApp is used to conduct elections and that too as sensitive as the PFF’s elections are.

“While we appreciate the need for innovation and flexibility in adapting modern communication methods, using WhatsApp for such important proceedings raises many concerns. Therefore, it is imperative that the election procedures ensure equal opportunities for all the candidates and provide clear mechanisms for oversight and accountability.”

‘The News’ has learnt that the PSB has received many complaints on the procedure being followed by the NC to conduct election with former district and provincial officials fearing that such elections would trigger fresh controversies. “Additionally, the stakeholders have expressed concerns regarding the scrutiny of clubs that they deem unacceptable.

‘‘In light of these concerns, the PSB urges the NC to review the decision to conduct the elections via WhatsApp and explore alternative methods.’’

Published in The News, 17 February 2024