Sports Reporter – DAWN
KARACHI: The turmoil within the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) continued on Sunday with the two warring factions differing over the venue for its presidential elections to be held on June 30.
PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat told reporters in a news conference in Lahore that the polls will be held in Changla Gali in the Abbottabad district, his claim coming a day after his rivals — who say they have suspended him during Tuesday’s Extraordinary Congress — said that the elections will be held at the PFF headquarters in the Punjab capital.
“The elections will be held in Changla Gali,” Hayat said at a local hotel after the PFF headquarters had been taken over by his rivals the other day. “We shifted the election venue from Lahore because of security concerns which materialized on Saturday when they [his rivals] occupied the PFF house by use of force.
“I condemn the incident and I will use all legal avenues to regain control of the PFF headquarters. The people who have occupied the PFF house have no legal standing and I will prove it,” he added.
Hayat’s rivals, meanwhile, claim they have done nothing illegal and held the Extraordinary Congress — which saw Hayat suspended while secretary Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi terminated — according to the PFF constitution. They added that they had taken over the PFF headquarters peacefully.
“The PFF General Congress will hold its elections in Lahore in a transparent manner,” former PFF secretary Hafiz Salman Butt told a news conference at the PFF headquarters after its takeover on Saturday night. “The CNICs of the members would also be checked during the voting process.”
Salman alleged that Hayat had misused funds for the promotion of the game during his 12 years as PFF chief and said that a special audit of the PFF accounts would also be conducted.
“So far no Goal Project except for the PFF headquarters has been completed,” Salman said. “They also received a project in Jhang from the AFC which hasn’t seen the light of day and other projects are also in the doldrums.
“This is why Hayat was suspended by the Extraordinary Congress but he can make an appeal. If he fails to appeal within the time limit, we will send his case to the FIA. Similar is the case with Lodhi.”
Salman further said: “The allegations of taking over the PFF headquarters by using force are baseless. We are working according to the PFF constitution while they [Hayat and his supporters] are flouting rules and regulations.”
Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2015