KARACHI: A definitive decision on the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) issue would likely come by Friday. That is when FIFA’s Executive Committee meets.
The PFF has been mired in crisis and controversy over the last several months after it split into two factions ahead of its presidential elections which were scheduled for June 30.
“The situation of the Pakistan Football Federation was discussed at today’s FIFA Associations Committee,” a spokesperson of the world’s football governing body told Dawn in a statement on Monday.
“The Committee has decided to submit the matter to the FIFA Executive Committee which will decide on further action.”
The split in the PFF saw one faction headed by incumbent president Faisal Saleh Hayat and the other by presidential contender and vice-president Zahir Ali Shah before the Lahore High Court (LHC) intervened.
It ordered a stay on the elections but Hayat’s camp went ahead and conducted its election which saw him being re-elected before he was issued a contempt notice and the LHC appointing an administrator — Justice Asad Munir — to take care of the PFF affairs.
In the meantime, FIFA sent a fact-finding mission to Pakistan last month which discussed at length the matters of the PFF with the two warring factions, findings of which were discussed at the Associations Committee meeting on Monday.
Between the fact-finding mission and Monday’s meeting, both factions of the PFF had communicated with FIFA and Asia’s football governing body AFC.
While the Hayat faction complained of “biased attitude” of the members of the fact-finding mission to the AFC, the Zahir faction wrote to FIFA hoping that it would have re-elections.
Justice Munir also wrote to FIFA seeking funding to revive footballing activity in the country but he was told that the world body will communicate with the Hayat faction for the time being.
The FIFA ExCo has been widely-criticised for the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar with the recent FIFA scandal adding fuel to the fire.
Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, has called for reducing the power of the ExCo in his reform plan for the world’s football governing body.
FIFA is facing huge pressure to reform following the May indictment by US authorities of nine current and former football officials on bribery-related charges. Many of them had served on FIFA’s ExCo or in other FIFA positions.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd , 2015