KARACHI: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench completed the proceedings of Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) case on Thursday and reserved the judgment.
PFF’s legal counsel Afzal Khan argued for around half an hour before the division bench comprising Justice Jawad Hasan and Justice Ayesha Malik. Afzal gave details about different aspects of the conflict, resuming from where he had left in the previous hearing on Tuesday.
When one of the judges said that they were going to reserve the judgment, lawyer Chaudhry Zulfiqar, who was representing the group led by Arshad Lodhi, stood up and gave details of the extraordinary congress in which Arshad had been made acting president of PFF and former PFF Director Clubs and Projects Col Farasat Ali had been installed as acting secretary on June 16, 2015.
Zulfiqar said that neither party had sought a stay order against the PFF June 30 elections but it was Deputy Attorney General who opted for it as he thought that two groups existed. The conflict began in April 2015 because of controversial elections of Punjab Football Association (PFA).
PFF imposed sanctions on many leading members of PFA. This prompted the Arshad group to convene an “extraordinary congress” in Islamabad on June 16, 2015, which suspended PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat and terminated the services of his secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi.
Arshad and Col Farasat were made acting president and acting secretary, respectively. A few days later, the Arshad group occupied the PFF headquarters in Lahore. On June 30 the PFF held its elections at Changla Galli and Faisal was re-elected as PFF chief for the fourth time despite LHC’s stay order.
After some months, an LHC single bench declared the PFF June 30 elections null and void and appointed former Justice Asad Muneer PFF administrator, who is still serving in that capacity. FIFA sent a fact-finding mission to Lahore which interviewed both parties and gave two years to PFF led by Faisal until September 2017.
In February last year LHC’s division bench gave its verdict but it was set aside by the Supreme Court, which referred the case back to the bench with the instructions to decide it on merit. FIFA suspended Pakistan in October last year. It had already warned of a ban if the PFF headquarters and accounts were not handed over to Faisal-led PFF by August 31, 2017.