By Shahrukh Sohail in Peshawar
Former Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Vice-President Zahir Shah believes that the blame for FIFA banning Pakistan can only be pinned on his arch-rival Faisal Salah Hayat and opined that the ongoing tussle should be resolved at the earliest.
Speaking to FootballPakistan.com on the sidelines of the 2017 FATA Super League in Peshawar, Zahir claimed that the situation was going to take “6-8 months” to be resolved but also added that any party that lost in the courts will eventually go to the Supreme Court.
Since 2015, Pakistani football has been locked in an intense battle for power between two warring factions; one led by incumbent President Faisal Salah Hayat and the second by Arshad Lodhi, with both sides throwing a myriad of allegations ranging from election rigging to corruption.
Things took a turn for the worse this October when FIFA banned Pakistan on the account of third party interference, citing the installation of a court-appointed administrator as a violation of its statutes.
“Hopefully, it will be resolved soon as both FIFA and AFC are working on it. If FIFA and the Lahore High Court can come up with a combined solution, that will be great. If they come up with independent solutions that will not work.”
“The Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) department should play a mediating role between the LHC and FIFA. Pakistan has its own sport policy through its statutes and so does FIFA, nobody is wrong here. The IPC can play a major role in bridging that gap,” added Zahir Shah.
Amidst rumours that the Shahid Khaqan Abbasi led government has taken a keen interest in resolving the matter, Shah added that the role of the IPC Ministry could be crucial as they can effectively bridge the gap and urged Minister Riaz Pirzada to discuss the matter with FIFA, so that Pakistani football can return to normalcy.