By Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: FIFA rules and football ethics were butchered on Friday during elections of Punjab Football Association (PFA) which saw a few people getting involved in a brawl.
Sources said that no elections were held but a top official of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) claimed that Sardar Naved Haider was declared the winner.
“Out of 28 votes, Naved had 15 votes. The opposition boycotted the elections and so the election commission declared Naved as the president of PFA,” a PFF official told ‘The News’.
The official said five voters had been suspended while a stay order had been taken against two other voters in their respective districts.
The other candidate, Chaudhry Muneer from Gujrat, was absent, the official claimed.
Arshad Khan Lodhi, Rana Ashraf and PFF Marketing Consultant Naveed Haider were contesting the elections.
A close associate of the government-backed party (Arshad Lodhi, Rana Ashraf) said that no elections had been held. “We stayed at FIFA House from 2pm to 7pm and till then no elections had been held,” the source said.
He said four voters had been suspended a few days ago by the PFF, but they had got a stay order from court, which had given clear instructions that their voting rights should not be denied to them.
The other suspended voter had also got a stay order and so had the right to cast his vote.
“The PFF has not only opposed the FIFA rules but has also acted against the court orders,” Hafiz Salman Butt, a former PFF secretary and close aide of the government-backed party, told ‘The News’.
“If the PFF has through any way declared Naved Haider the president, how can he run the 36-member house with only 15 votes,” Butt said.
No official comment could be taken from the election commissioner Syed Nayyar Hasnain despite repeated attempts on his cell phone, but the secretary of the electoral committee Col Farasat Ali Shah disclosed that a fake election had been conducted by Faisal and his associates. “It was a fake election conducted by Faisal in his typical style. Arshad Lodhi and his party had 22 votes while Naved Haider had 14,” Col Farasat told this correspondent.
“I am still on the payroll of the PFF but I am not afraid of anybody and will speak the truth,” Farasat, who is serving as Director Clubs and Projects at PFF, said.
He lashed out at PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi, saying he was responsible for the destruction of football in the country.
Sources said that the voters list had been changed thrice.
A candidate for the vice-president post Rana Zia-ur-Rehman of Rahimyar Khan told this correspondent that on the pretext of negotiation with PFF’s chief Faisal Saleh Hayat, they were taken to a room and had to face the butts of guns. “The other candidates for the vice-president posts Chaudhry Ikhlaq and Anees Lodhi were also with me,” Rana alleged.
“Ikhlaq was also hit with a butt in the other room,” said Rana, who also held a press conference after the incident.
But a PFF official said no such incident had happened.
Sources in the government-backed party also alleged that the PFF top officials had around 40 armed persons in a couple of rooms at FIFA Football House where the elections were going to be conducted.
But PFF’s sources rejected these claims.
Till filing of the story, the PFF had not released any official information about the result of the elections.
At one stage, there were reports that the elections had been postponed.
The elections had earlier been scheduled at Avari Hotel but were on Thursday night shifted to FIFA Football House.
A large number of policemen had been deployed outside the FIFA Football House, an eyewitness said.
Meanwhile, Abdur Rauf Nautezai of Chaghi got elected as president of Balochistan Football Association (BFA).
Abdur Rauf beat Haji Khalil Ahmad on toss after both candidates had got eight votes each, election commissioner Irfan Niazi told ‘The News’ from Quetta.
Abdur Rauf is a close associate of Haji Saeed, former secretary of BFA. Sources said that the group has always played a positive role in development of football in Balochistan.
Abdul Qayyum and Mohammad Hanif were elected as vice-presidents.
The losing candidate Haji Khalil Ahmed is from Jan Mohammad Mari group and his defeat is a serious blow to PFF president Faisal.
The outgoing BFA chief Jan Mohammad Mari remained a close associate of Faisal during the last 12 years.