LAHORE, Jan 1: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is still waiting for the government of Sindh to provide it a piece of land by Jan 5 in order to build FIFA Goal Project II in Karachi.
“We have got good response from the Sindh government as its Minister for Katchi Abadis Rafique Engineer has assured the PFF that a decision to allocate a plot for the project may be taken in the next couple of days,” PFF secretary Ahmad Yar Lodhi told Dawn on Thursday.
He said the main problem and delay in all this was the PFF’s need to have the land transferred in its name as per FIFA requirement. But it had been the Sindh government’s stance to let it remain in their possession. But the minister had now assured the PFF of a positive response.
“Still we need them to confirm this till Jan 5 so that the PFF can offer the project to Balochistan in case of failure,” he said.
“The PFF has been given the January deadline by FIFA and if both Sindh and Balochistan governments fail to fulfil the PFF requirements, the game’s international governing body may even take away the project from Pakistan,” he said.
He confirmed that the Sindh Football Association (SFA) had already found a 10-acre land for the project at Hawkesbay and if the federation succeeded in getting it, a stadium would also be built along with the Goal Project.
Admitting that the PFF was in dire need of a stadium and had no such facility under its control at the moment, Lodhi hoped that it would be getting one in Karachi.
But he said that the $500,000 project comes with a strict condition that the piece of land for the project must be PFF property. Therefore, the federation cannot build the Goal Project before getting the plot allotted in its name.
The secretary further said that the federal government had also promised to release an amount of Rs20 million to the federation in the near future so that they can meet different expenditures including the salary of a foreign coach.
The PFF was trying to hire the services of a foreign coach before the month of February as they are looking at a hectic season this year, he said.
The PFF, despite an annual grant of $250,000 from FIFA, is running short of funds and have requested the government to help it in hiring a coach.