KARACHI, Jan 5: The Sindh Football Association (SFA) on Monday managed to finally get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Government Of Sindh for transfer of the land reserved for FIFA Goal Project II to the Pakistan Football Federation. Dawn was informed of the latest development by SFA Treasurer and Secretary-General District Football Association West (Zone V), Rahim Bakhsh, soon after faxing the NOC letter to PFF Secretary Col (retd) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi in Lahore.
“Our Patron and Sindh Minister for Katchi Abadis Rafique Engineer got us an appointment with Director-General Lyari Development Authority (LDA), Agha Masood, who called up the PFF Secretary to inquire what the problem actually was. Later, LDA Director Lands Sarfaraz Khan also spoke to Col Lodhi as he dictated to him the exact wording to go in the letter,” informed Rahim Bakhsh.
“In connection through this office, allotment order no LDA Land Admin 2008/1592 dated 1-11-2008,” the letter says, “LDA has no objection on construction work of [the] proposed FIFA Goal Project … all the terms and conditions laid down in [the] allotment order will strictly be followed by SFA, Karachi, as referred in above allotment order. The issue has the approval of the competent authority.”
The letter, no. LDA/Land Admin 2009/1799, dated 6-1-2009, has been signed by LDA Deputy Director Lands Tasneem Ahmed.
Rahim Bakhsh and Rafique Engineer were also accompanied to the LDA office by SFA’s General Council Member Ali Nawaz Baluch who explained: “We had put forth two demands to the PFF — remove Qamar Yar Khan from the SFA secretary’s post and let Karachi keep the Goal Project. The federation in turn had asked us to supply the NOC for transferring the land reserved for the project to them.”
“We have kept our side of the bargain by fulfilling FIFA’s requirement of subleasing the land to the PFF. The ball has been kicked into their court,” said the football legend from Lyari.
“In order to guarantee that the PFF don’t find any more mistakes or problems with our papers, we got in touch with Col Lodhi and asked him to dictate to the LDA officer exactly what the federation wanted in the NOC,” explained Ali Nawaz.
“This was necessary since, earlier too, the allotment papers drawn on specific instructions from the PFF were also okayed by FIFA until they found them to be incomplete and lacking the sublease clause. But now after Col Sahib’s dictating everything himself, I don’t think that there should be a problem,” he added.
“FIFA Goal Project will be built in Karachi. Our children’s future has been secured,” concluded the veteran player.
The 10-acre land for the project in Block 13 A-1 of Hawkesbay’s Scheme 42 had already been selected and approved by the SFA, PFF and FIFA. But the SFA was informed by the federation last month that their papers were not in order until they included a clause allowing the SFA to transfer the land to the PFF because it is the federation which happens to be affiliated to the world governing body for football.
The acquiring of the NOC comes a day after an impressive SFA demonstration outside the Football House in Lyari, held to protest PFF President Faisal Saleh Hayat’s threats to shift the $500,000 FIFA project from Karachi to Quetta if the provincial association failed to meet their latest deadline of Jan 5.