By Andrew Warshaw, Inside World Football
August 28 – With little fanfare and hardly any publicity, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) recently proudly announced the makeup of its new standing committees for the next four years. One of those re-elected as chairman of its legal committee – was Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, the controversial Pakistani who has been at the centre of a bitter domestic dispute.
Hayat is known to be a strong ally of AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa but the amount of influence he wields continues to raise a number of eyebrows throughout the region.
Last month, the Lahore High Court issued an order to dissolve the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) newly elected body along with dismissing Hayat for flaunting a stay order against holding presidential elections.
The judgement came a day after a contempt notice was issued to the PFF and Hayat whose position was declared null and void with an administrator appointed to hold fresh elections.
As PFF president, Hayat has held a number of key positions at FIFA and thanked the AFC for echoing “the faith and trust of the football family of Asia in me” .
But Insideworldfootball has seen correspondence sent by Hayat’s bitter rival to all AFC member federations, calling into question his credentials.
The correspondence, headed WORSENING SITUATION/FAKE ELECTION OF PAKISTAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION, was sent on July 15 by Farasat Ali Shah, the PFF’s acting General Secretary, and referred to “the fake election of (the) Pakistan Football Federation held on June 30 against the decision of the Pakistani court.”
Shah himself was dismissed by the PFF for allegedly violating its code of ethics but insisted at the time he had done nothing wrong except challenge Hayat.
In an increasingly ugly power struggle, Shah was quoted as saying: “Hayat has only damaged Pakistan football during the last 12 years …. with his dirty politics.”