By Umaid Wasim,
KARACHI: The rules for the June 30 elections of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) which have drawn ire from the opposing body have been ratified by FIFA, a top PFF official claimed on Friday.
The rules which state that an aspiring candidate of PFF presidency “shall have played an active role as member PFF Congress, Member PFF Executive Committee, PFF Elected Official, AFC/FIFA for at least two of the preceding five years before being proposed as a candidate as per PFF record” have led to rivals claiming that the PFF is going all out in trying to keep incumbent Faisal Saleh Hayat as president.
“We’ve sent our election rules to FIFA two years ago for their approval,” the official told Dawn. “Rivals should have no objection and accept the fact that they have been approved by world’s football governing body.”
The official added that the rules had earlier been “approved by the PFF Congress” and the rules were amended according to FIFA, which changed its presidency election rules in 2013.
“Since our statutes are approved by FIFA, and election rules fall under them, they are also FIFA-approved,” the official said.
The FIFA change saw candidates needing to be formally nominated by five football associations instead of one while having served two of the last five years in some kind of executive football role.
Meanwhile, a FIFA spokesperson told Dawn on Friday that it was “monitoring the situation and can’t make further comments for the time being”.
The rule change was made to prevent politicians crossing into the game. Hayat, a politician himself, is apparently exempted from the ruling since he came into power back in 2003 when the rule wasn’t in force. The PFF is very likely to face a government-backed candidate in the upcoming polls. But the FIFA Statutes allow former players to contest the polls.
“Our rules are according to the FIFA Statutes, the official claimed. “And a candidate has to have nomination from two members of the PFF Congress.”
However, according to the PFF rules, it excludes someone who has been working in the game but isn’t a member of the Congress.
“You have to be elected through district and provincial levels to contest the elections,” said the PFF official.
But the sad part is that whilst a few amateur clubs being part of the PFF Congress have voting rights, national champions K-Electric don’t even have a vote as they aren’t part of the Congress.
Furthermore, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), who were Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) champions for three straight years before K-Electric won the title last year, also don’t have a vote.
“It’s a farce that two top teams of the country don’t have a vote when there are clubs with voting rights who don’t even play in the PPFL,” K-Electric Sports Head Zabe Khan told Dawn on Friday.
“We don’t have a vote because the PFF fears that we will not vote for them or go against them. They’re doing this to stay in power. They’ve been telling us for two years that we’ll be made members of the Congress but there has been nothing done about that.”