KARACHI: After a dry spell last year, the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) and Division B League teams’ wait for national-level action may yet be prolonged as the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Cup is expected to be postponed for another week.
PFF administrator Asad Munir had announced in December that the PFF Cup, which is meant to compensate for the absence of the regular PFFL and Division B league seasons in 2015, would be played from January 15.
However, according to PFF official and tournament director Rauf Bari, the event is expected to be pushed ahead by a week, as four of the 30 invited teams have yet to agree to compete in the tournament.
“The players will have to wait for at least a week more,” Bari told The Express Tribune. “We may postpone it because Wapda and Army have requested us to do so as both are holding their inter-department tournament. They are two of the major teams in the local circuit, so we are considering accepting their request. We can afford to wait.”
Bari added that the Lahore High Court (LHC) will give its verdict on three cases against suspended PFF president Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat before January 20.
“Hayat is in trouble for showing contempt for the court and for holding the PFF presidency for more than two terms against the National Sports Policy 2005, while the court will decide on re-elections of the federation too,” he said. “We want to hold the tournament in a better environment, so it would be best if these things are cleared up first.”
With two factions — one led by Hayat and the other by Arshad Lodhi — claiming to be the rightful office-bearers of the federation.
FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation back Hayat in the matter, whereas the LHC has banned both factions from holding any events on their own.
For the time being, the court has appointed an administrator to see to the daily functioning of the federation, while the game continues to suffer due to lack of inactivity — both domestic and international.