By Azhar Khan,
CHANGLA GALI – Newly-elected Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has vowed to strengthen football infrastructure in the country for getting fruitful results and to raise standard of Pakistan football at international level.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation after being got elected as PFF president for the fourth time, Faisal said: “In next four years, we have to strengthen our infrastructure as well as to fortify our relations with FIFA and AFC.
Although we have already been enjoying very good relations with our parental bodies yet there is a need to bring betterment in it and convince them to provide us more helps, projects and funds for the promotion of Pakistan football.”
Clarifying the validity and authentication of the elections which picked him a PFF president, Faisal said: “First of all, I would to like clarify that we follow our parent bodies (FIFA and AFC) laws and statutes, therefore, we are recognised by them.
They very kindly sent their representative to observe the elections which was also monitored and observed by Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) representative which shows legality and authenticity of our elections.
Secondly, it was in the air the that Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a stay order regarding elections, but we didn’t get any such order by the honorable court and therefore, we held our elections in a fair and transparent under the supervision of FIFA-AFC and POA representatives.
Thanking the FIFA and AFC for their support to Pakistan football, he said that it was just because of FIFA and AFC support that Pakistan football had been flourishing in the entire country and making base for the young footballers.
“Future of Pakistan football is bright as we have taken some significant measures to promote it among youth which has now started yielding fruits.
Its example is in front of all, as recently, our player Kaleem Ullah first got contract of Tajikistan’s club and now he was picked by American football club. It shows that there is no dearth of talent in Pakistan, but need of the hour is to groom and polish this talent and provide them platform to excel at higher level.”
“With sincere efforts and team work of PFF, when the PFF reached at a level where it has started getting benefits in form of FIFA, AFC projects and funds and Pakistan players have started excelling at higher level, the looters and ‘qabza mafia’ have set their eyes to grab everything from us, which we would never allow.
It was all due to our hectic efforts and we will continue this good work and finally succeed in earning good name for the country at international level,” the PFF chief said.
About eight goal projects granted by FIFA, Faisal said: “Among eight goal projects granted by FIFA, four projects are completed while four projects in Sukkur, Jacobabad, Khanewal and Peshawar are in progress and will be completed soon.”
Speaking about Jhang project and FIFA grant, he said: “We have still that amount of 6.
5 crore with us and as soon as we get land from the government, we will immediately start work on it.
Now if the government doesn’t grant us land there for this project, it will prove that government is reluctant to promote sports especially football and want to deprive youth of Jhang of playing the world’s largest playing game.”
The PFF president thanked FIFA and AFC for their support in holding the PFF elections in a fair and transparent manner and hoped that the parental football bodies would continue their support for promotion of Pakistan football.
Faisal urged the government to keep ‘qabza mafia’ away from sports and barred them from harming the country’s sports.
“I hope government will support genuine people and body recognised by international bodies and discourage the grabbers whose main purpose is to loot and harm games.