Zahir, Lodhi win as PFF NC announces district election results [The News]

Zahir, Lodhi win as PFF NC announces district election results [The News]

by Alam Zeb Safi

LAHORE: Senior member of Pakistan People’s Party and former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health minister Syed Zahir Ali Shah and PML (N) MPA Naveed Aslam Khan Lodhi were on Wednesday elected as presidents of District Football Associations of Peshawar and Sahiwal, respectively.

Zahir, also a former long-term Congress member of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and its former vice-president, served as DFA Peshawar chairman from 2002-2007. From then he served as the president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association for several years.

Lodhi is the nephew and son-in-law of former politician and former PFF secretary Arshad Khan Lodhi. In the first phase, election results of 75 districts of Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were announced by the PFF Normalisation Committee on Wednesday.

“Over 90 percent of voters participated in the electoral process. The elections in the remaining districts will be held after Eid-ul- Fitr,” the PFF NC said. “Following a thorough electoral process the individuals have been duly elected to lead and represent their districts in the matters concerning football development and administration,” it said.

“In adherence to the principles of fairness and transparency two days are hereby allotted for appeals. This window allows for any concerns or disputes regarding the electoral process to be addressed and resolved appropriately,” NC said.

“Once the appeals are decided the final list of the elected officials will be shared,” it said.

Some stakeholders are not happy with the way the elections were conducted. “NC is compelling stakeholders to go to courts,” former Sindh Football Association (SFA) Secretary General Rahim Bux Baloch told The News.

“Giving voting rights to newly-formed clubs is against the constitution. In Keamari Town there were two new clubs whose representatives won elections of the district’s presidency and secretaryship,” he said.

“NC did not give voting right to clubs with even 20 years of existence. In Karachi District West 35 clubs were not given voting rights and you gave voting rights to clubs which were formed just a few months back,” he said.

“Personally, I don’t accept these results,” Rahim said. “You have announced results of 75 districts after 13 days which is ridiculous,” he said. “We will sit together and will decide our next plan of action,” he said.

He also questioned how a president of a club which exists in Karachi District West can contest elections in District South. “In one district his secretary contested election and the president himself contested election in the District South from a club which has no association with that club either in a capacity as president, secretary or treasurer,” Rahim pointed out.

Another key stakeholder told this correspondent that their candidate lost the election by just six votes, adding those votes which went against him were of the newly-formed clubs which constitutionally cannot be given voting rights.

The stakeholder, while pleading anonymity, said that they are going to file an appeal and if they were not granted justice then they would go to court. NC’s chairman Haroon Malik’s past press conference video is talk of the town these days. In the press conference video, he can be heard saying that new clubs’ registration is not in the mandate of the NC.

“If NC registers new clubs in its day-to-day operations, still they will not get voting rights because as per constitution they should have participated in the 90 percent district competitions for two years. And the second point is that a club should have financial security for the last four years,” Haroon said in that press conference.

“When I see my mandate so new club registration does not impact elections process. New club registration is a backburner item which the elected body will take up as soon as it comes to power,” Haroon said.

Published in The News, 4 April 2024