After regaining possession of its secretariat in Lahore in the light of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) resumed working on Friday.
Most of its staff members spent the whole day in office on Friday. It has been learnt that the secretariat had been left by the PFF’s rival group in utterly shabby condition. Sources said that around 16 people worked hard the whole day to remove the filth which had spread everywhere in the gigantic facility having been constructed by FIFA, the international football governing body.
“Six workers, along with the PFF staff members, spent the whole day today just removing the filth. And still hardly 30 percent filth has been removed,” a source said.The rival group had occupied the headquarters in June 2015, a few days after an “extraordinary congress” had been convened in Islamabad.
The sources said around 15 percent equipment was also missing from the office. “A refrigerator and a deep freezer are also not there,” an insider said.“Telephone and cables are also not in operational state. Frames, carrying pictures of players, are also missing from the secretariat,” a source said.
The sources said that only the room of the PFF president was in good condition. They said that out of three vehicles only two were handed over to the PFF.“We have received a cultus car of 2014 model and a corolla while Vigo is yet to be received,” a source said.
However, he was quick to add that both these vehicles were in bad condition. The sources also claimed that footballs, shoes, blankets and some machines were also missing from the store.
They said that the PFF would be able to resume its full function when it started operating its accounts.“The account issue will take a week,” a source said. When the PFF takes full control of its accounts, only then may FIFA lift suspension which it imposed in October last year for third party interference.
When this correspondent asked FIFA on Friday about its intended stance regarding lifting suspension, FIFA replied: “Please note any update on this matter will be communicated in due course.”There are still issues as the rival group has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court and a highly reliable source claims that the apex court has issued notices to the parties concerned.
Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa on Friday appreciated the decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench and said it would help resume football in the country.
“Players suffered during the last three years and I think court has done a good job to resolve the issue,” Essa told ‘The News’ from Chaman.He also congratulated the PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat on his success. He added the PFF now should launch football activities vigorously.
“Footballers faced great hardships during the last three years. There should be vigorous activities now to compensate for the damage done to the game,” said the former playmaker.Essa serves as a playing coach at K-Electric, who under his captaincy won their maiden Premier League crown a few years ago.
“There is a lot of work to be done, right from youth development programmes to the premier league.The PFF will have to do a lot in a short span of time. It will have to convince the departments which disbanded their teams to reconsider their decision,” Essa said.
Since April 2015 because of the conflict between the PFF and its rival group headed by Arshad Lodhi no Pakistan team has featured in any international event. Besides, the country’s premier league hasn’t been held for three years. This caused a lot of damage to the careers of our footballers who might have got chances of playing in foreign leagues on the basis of their performances in international matches or in the domestic league.