Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan Premier Football League, carrying 12 teams, would begin in the last week of September, a top official of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) said on Thursday.
“Keeping in view the schedule of the Asian Games, we plan to begin the league in the last week of September,” PFF Director Development and Competitions Pervez Saeed Mir told ‘The News’.
The league also came under discussion in the managers’ meeting on Wednesday at the PFF headquarters in Lahore. The PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi and Pervez held discussions with the officials of the participating teams on different aspects of the competitions.
Last season, 16 teams participated in the event, out of which six were relegated. Navy, Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Pak Afghan Clearing Agency (PACA), Faisalabad’s Lyallpur FC, Nushki’s Baloch FC and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) were relegated to the second-tier league as Railways and Quetta’s Baloch Club rose to the top league.
The PFF has reduced the number of teams to 12 in a bid to improve the quality of the league.
“This time the teams may get some more breathing space between their matches,” Mir said.
Last season, 240 matches were played. This time 132 encounters will be conducted.
An official who attended the managers’ meeting said that Islamabad was also likely to be given matches.
The reigning champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and former champions Army may play their matches in the federal capital.
Last season, the whole league was conducted at centres of Karachi and Lahore.
The officials of Chaman and Quetta were told that they would also be given matches if they prepared their venues.
Last year, Chaman and Quetta were dropped as venues because their grounds were not in satisfactory condition.
The PFF has not yet given match bonuses to the last year’s participating teams in spite of the fact that the league ended on February 8 this year.
“I think they will get their money within a week as some deduction is being made due to various kinds of penalties,” Mir said.
As per rules, those teams who played a match without a Licence B coach received a fine of Rs25,000.
Moreover, 40 yellow cards are allowed for a team during the season.
But any team whose cards exceed this number will have to pay a fine of Rs5000 per card which is deducted from the team bonuses.
The teams participating in this league are: Railways, Baloch Club, holders KRL, Army, K-Electric, Chaman’s Muslim FC, Pakistan Air Force, Chaman’s Afghan FC, National Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan International Airlines, WAPDA and Karachi Port Trust.