by Syed Intikhab Ali [The News]
KARACHI: The secretary Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi has claimed that construction on the FIFA goal project would begin from January or February 2012.
He admitted that the project had been delayed, but asserted that there was some progress. He said that the delay occurred because the contractor was not approved by FIFA. He said now an agreement would be signed with the next contractor in December 2011.
Lodhi claimed that the project in Karachi would be a state-of-the-art thing and hopefully complete in one year time. “Quetta’s project would take some time, but it would also be launched during 2012,” he said.
The goal project is FIFA’s one of the most popular development project in Pakistan. Its third chapter has been delayed for the past several years.
The land of the plot was given more than two years ago. Sources said that the goal project in Peshawar is nearing completion and it would be initiated in Quetta very soon. But in Karachi, no practical step has been taken by PFF.
The sources in Sindh football circles said that only due to the PFF’s lethargic attitude the local footballers are still deprived of FIFA’s most important football development project in the port city.
A critic said that Karachi is considered the biggest football nursery in the country with the largest number of registered clubs, but PFF has failed to realise its importance and always gave it a step-motherly treatment.
Sindh Football Association (SFA) and Sindh government avoided resisting the condition of PFF that 10-acre land be handed over to it for the project. A group of footballers said they accepted this decision in the larger interest of the game and footballers community so that a big football development project could get underway.
Sources mentioned that when only three days were left to meet the deadline of FIFA, the PFF came to SFA, seeking help for getting the piece land for the establishment of the project. SFA contacted PPP’s MPA Rafiq Engineer from Lyari town for help. The MPA played a vital role in acquiring the 10 acres plot in Hawkes Bay in a very short period of time. But PFF has failed to make use of the plot for two years.