by Kashif Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) is in a fix whether to accept the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) faction led by Faisal Saleh Hayat or the current administrator of the country’ football governing body, Justice Asad Munir, who was appointed on the directive of Lahore High Court (LHC).
The PSB, according the National Sports Policy, cannot accept Hayat as PFF president for a fourth term even though he is backed by FIFA with the world football body not accepting the appointment of the administrator and so has sought guidance from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
PSB director-general Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera said that according to its commitments with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it — and the federal government — is bound to accept the PFF leadership under Hayat whilst at the same time he is illegal as president as per the National Sports Policy which has a two-term restriction.
“We’re in a fix over the issue,” Ganjera told Dawn on Tuesday. “The country’s football has suffered badly and our players are missing opportunities to play.
“But at the same time, we cannot accept Hayat as president for a fourth term because of the National Sports Policy and so we’re seeking guidance from the Prime Minister.
“We’ve prepared the summary which will be sent to the Prime Minister House in next couple of days,” he added before informing that the PSB has funds for promotion of football, but has no idea to whom these funds should be transferred.
In the lead-up to this year’s PFF elections, the PFF split into two factions — one led by Hayat and the other led by his long-term ally and PFF vice-president Zahir Ali Shah.
Hayat, who has been at the PFF helm since 2003, was running for another four-year term but after severe infighting between the two groups, the LHC ordered a stay on the June 30 polls.
However, Hayat went ahead with the polls and got himself re-elected but the LHC intervened and appointed an administrator to run the PFF affairs.
It led to FIFA sending a fact-finding mission to the country which met with both warring groups before the executive committee of the world body instructed Hayat to hold fresh elections within two years with revised statutes.
Since then FIFA hasn’t been corresponding with the administrator but while it remains in touch with the Hayat faction, Pakistan have missed several events.
“There’s also no national league this year so the game is suffering,” PFF secretary of the Hayat faction, Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, told Dawn.