KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) president Faisal Saleh Hayat on Monday said he would resign if allegations of corruption were proved upon him.
“During my entire tenure as PFF’s chief I have taken all the decisions purely on merit and for the betterment of football and no incident of any misuse of power and money can be quoted. If a single penny of corruption was proved against me I would resign,” Faisal told a media conference at the PFF headquarters in Lahore.
The other day, former PML (N) MPA Ali Noor Niazi told ‘The News’ that they would register cases of corruption against the PFF chief in NAB and Anti-Corruption department. Previously, Niazi’s nomination papers for the Punjab Football Association presidential elections had been rejected by the PFF election commission.
“Faisal has always been involved in corrupt practices. He has not only defamed the PFF but also the sanctity of Shah Jewana,” Ali Noor Niazi told this correspondent.
Faisal said like always, the PFF was going to hold its own elections and that of the federating units under FIFA’s rules and regulations.
“The PFF always held the elections of the federation and its affiliated units under FIFA’s statutes and this time, too, all FIFA rules and regulations are being strictly adhered to,” Faisal said.
He lashed at out former PML (N) MPA Ali Noor Niazi and former PFF secretary Hafiz Salman Butt for having kept the PFF’s headquarters under siege the other day.
“It is only the prerogative of the election commissioner to talk in detail about the PFF’s elections. I would condemn the worst act from a provincial presidential candidate Ali Noor Niazi, who along with FIFA-banned Hafiz Salman Butt invaded FIFA Football House two days earlier with around hundred men laced with arms,” Faisal alleged.
“I ask them is this the way they plan to promote the game in Pakistan?” he questioned
He said FIFA did not allow any external interference in the affairs of its affiliated bodies.
“FIFA have always taken strict action against those associate members who interfered by the third party, especially by their governments. We have the examples of Nigeria, Indonesia and Kuwait who had to face FIFA ban because of the interference of external force in their internal matters. So we have to follow FIFA’s rules strictly to make our elections fair and transparent,” the president added.
Faisal also disclosed some facts about former PFF’s secretary Hafiz Salman Butt as why he was banned for life by FIFA.
“FIFA imposed life ban on Salman Butt due to huge embezzlement he did during his tenure as PFF’s secretary, proved by FIFA’s committee which had been formed for probing the case,” he said.
“How can a person level allegations against others who himself has been proved corrupt by FIFA,” he said.
In order to seek Hafiz Salman Butt’s opinion about Faisal’s remarks, ‘The News’ tried to contact him but he did not receive the call.
Salman Butt and his companions in a press conference in Lahore on Sunday had levelled allegations of corruption against Faisal.
Meanwhile, PFF’s secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi claimed that he was immensely pressurised by Director General of Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Usman Anwar, who during a meeting at his office revealed that it had been decided by the government to bring in Captain Safdar as the next PFF’s chief and Ali Noor Niazi as Punjab Football Association’s (PFA) president.
Lodhi said they told him that the current PFF set-up must cooperate with the government in achieving its objectives.
“I just told him what FIFA and PFF statutes demand and if they want their candidates get elected they will have to follow FIFA and PFF rules. In a reaction, DG SBP pressurised me to go against the FIFA and PFF rules which I have denied for which I was threatened of dire consequences,” Lodhi disclosed. “But being a representative of PFF, I can do only those things which come under
FIFA rules and regulations,” Lodhi said. “I don’t think Lodhi has held any meeting with DG Sports Board,” said Ali Noor Niazi.