PFF NC gets 9-month extension [The News]

PFF NC gets 9-month extension [The News]

LAHORE: As was expected FIFA gave yet another extension — this time of nine months — to Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee. The committee’s mandate was scheduled to expire on Friday (March 15).

It means that NC will now have until December 15 to complete the electoral process which it has already initiated although with loads of irregularities in structuring elections data which has been widely criticised by the stakeholders in Pakistan.

“The Council confirmed that the mandate of the Normalisation Committee for the Pakistan Football Federation will be extended until 15 December 2024 to allow for the completion of the existing mandate and electoral process,” FIFA said in its press release after it’s council meeting. According to sources Pakistan’s matter was discussed at length in the FIFA Council meeting on March 14.

It was observed that due to intricate club registration and scrutiny process the elections were getting delayed. The whole episode of NC since its installment in 2019 was discussed. The Council was told that the elections in 142 districts will be completed in March and then the elections will be held at the provincial and PFF levels.

It was also told that 85 percent club scrutiny has been completed. Sources said that the complexity of the PFF constitution was also discussed. The council hoped that as substantial progress has been made, fair and transparent elections through a transparent electoral procedure will ensure Pakistan getting an elected setup towards the end of this year.

Haroon Malik-led NC has been widely criticised by the stakeholders in Pakistan for the last few months for its seemingly reluctant approach towards the electoral process.

Rumours also circulated a few days ago that the NC’s composition will be changed and some new people will be inducted into the committee which has so far failed to hold the PFF elections despite the fact that it started working in September 2019.

During the initial two years under former chairman Hamza Khan, the NC was a total failure. During the last two years under Haroon, the focus has been on handling national teams’ international engagements while ignoring the key domestic events including the Premier League, B-Division League and National Challenge Cup which were held regularly in the era of former PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat.

NC has started district elections process and it can easily hold the PFF elections inside six months but FIFA showed more generosity and gave it a nine-month extension.

Published in The News, 16 March 2024