By Alam Zeb Safi,
KARACHI: Zahir Shah-led faction of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) expects that the world football governing body will order re-election.
In an August 13 letter sent to Primo Corvaro, a member of FIFA fact-finding mission which visited Lahore earlier this month, Zahir expressed the desire for PFF re-election. “Based on our discussion at the meeting we understand that the next step is the elections of the president and other office-bearers of the PFF (with all members of the PFF Congress in consonance with the FIFA approved PFF constitution),” wrote Zahir, the senior vice-president of the PFF and a candidate for the PFF presidency.
“Accordingly, we await hearing from you as regards the next step,” said Shah’s letter to Corvaro, a copy of which is available with ‘The News’.
The letter has been forwarded to Corvaro by the PFF acting secretary Col Farasat Ali Shah on behalf of Zahir.
But Corvaro’s reply is even a blunt one. “We never stated that the next step would be the elections of the new office-bearers. This is pure speculation of your own,” Corvaro said in his feedback to the letter.
“We are still working on the outcome of the mission and we will communicate in due time,” Corvaro said.
He also mentioned that FIFA’s fact-finding mission was led by Costakis and any letter in this respect should be addressed to him.
Corvaro also made it clear why FIFA’s delegation also took input from the acting PFF secretary Col Farasat whom Corvaro termed a controversial person.
“I received the enclosed letter and have been surprised for different reasons. It was sent on your behalf by a person under a lot of controversies. Even though we met him, it was clearly specified that it was for the purpose of a better understanding of the situation, but in no way it would mean a recognition,” wrote Corvaro, who serves as Manager FIFA Member Associations.
Cyprus Football Association’s president Costakis Koutsokoumnis headed the mission, which also included AFC Manager Member Associations and Development Sun Si Song.
When this correspondent tried to confirm the authenticity of the letter from Col Farsat, he said he did not remember. “I don’t remember. I will check it and will get back to you,” Farasat said.
A couple of days ago a newspaper published a letter addressed by the PFF faction led by Faisal Saleh Hayat to AFC secretary general Windsor John in which it complained about the conduct of a couple of members of the FIFA delegation that interviewed both groups in Lahore.
FIFA will discuss Pakistan’s issue in its member associations committee meeting on September 21 in Zurich.