* National soccer team at 160th place in FIFA rankings
By Khurram Shahzad
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) faces a deficit of Rs 52.5 million yearly despite receiving a $250,000 annual grant from the world soccer body FIFA. PFF secretary general Ahmed Yar Khan told Daily Times on Friday that total income of the federation was Rs 17.5 million while Rs 70 million was needed for organising national and international events. “The money allocated to us by the FIFA has become insufficient for the last few years as the game has expanded and the national federation is holding more activities,” he said. To a question regarding FIFA’s allocated money’s spending and expenditure, the PFF secretary did not give a satisfactory answer. He was even unable to give precise facts and figures.
“Our marketing strategy has failed to come up to the expectations. More funds are needed to hold soccer activities. We gave a target of Rs 20 million to our marketing director but not a single penny has been received,” the secretary lamented and added the PFF was looking towards the government to help bridge this gap.
He said the PFF had generated Rs 10 million from marketing activities last year and with the start of Premier League this season, some funds could be expected. It is pertinent to mention that the PFF has also failed to develop new grounds and hundreds of football clubs around the country are looking for a facility to play. “We have no funds to develop the grounds and the PFF is using the government’s facilities to manage local and international competitions,” he said. The PFF official admitted that the FIFA Goal Project in Karachi was also in shambles due to unavailability of funds and the federation was again looking towards the government and FIFA to provide some assistance. It is interesting to note that despite tall claims of the PFF the Pakistan football team is at the 160th place in the latest FIFA rankings. The team’s recent humiliating defeats in the Olympics qualifiers and in the ongoing SAFF Championship in Maldives have raised many an eyebrow.