LAHORE: Sardar Naveed Haider Khan was on Saturday elected president of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) after a sweeping 23-13 vote in his favour in the polls held by Supreme Court’s appointed election commissioner Ali Raza.
It marks a step towards resolving a three-year dispute over the genuine body of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). The election came after the Supreme Court last month ordered fresh elections of the PFA and the PFF to resolve the matter once and for all.
Sardar Naveed was the candidate fielded by Faisal Saleh Hayat, the PFF president who is recognised by FIFA. Now, Ali Raza will hold the PFF elections in the next two months.
Alongside Sardar, five vice-presidents were elected including Rana Shaukat Ali (Attock), Raja Ishtiaq (Rawalpindi), Sheikh Khalid (Narowal), Mohammad Naeem (Vehari) and Sheikh Iqbal-ur-Rehman (Bahawalpur).
“We will soon announce a comprehensive activity programme to start the football activities at the grassroots level,” Sardar told
Dawn. “A league, featuring all nine divisional teams of the province, would start in the month of October. Competitions for youth and women at district and provincial levels would also be started soon.”
The election took place after some controversy was raised by members of his rival group that the election commission formed by Ali Raza wasn’t impartial. They also said that since Sardar Naveed had never been associated with any district body or any club, he couldn’t contest the election.
Sardar Naveed refuted those claims. “I have been organising the PPL Balochistan Cup for the last three years,” he said.
THE NEWS adds:
KARACHI: Sardar Naveed Haider was on Saturday elected as president of Punjab Football Association (PFA) after convincingly beating his rival Rana Mohammad Ashraf.
The electoral meeting was held at the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) secretariat in Lahore on the instructions of the Supreme Court. The elections were held under the supervision of the Supreme Court senior advocate Ali Raza. As per information provided by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), Naveed got 23 votes while Rana Ashraf secured 13 votes.
Naveed, also a former Director Marketing of PFF, vowed to work hard for the promotion of the game in Punjab.
“I will work hard with my team to develop football in every corner of Punjab which is brimming with immense talent,” Naveed said.
The PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat congratulated Naveed on the landslide victory. Naveed’s panel carried Shaikh Iqbal-ur-Rehman (Bahawalpur), Shaikh Khalid (Narowal), Raja Ishtiaq (Rawalpindi), Chaudhry Naeem (Vehari) and Rana Shaukat (Attock).
Meanwhile, it was also learnt that Rana Ashraf Group took part in the elections but it has serious reservations over certain points, also including the legality of the candidature of Naveed Haider. The group intends to inform the apex court with documentary proofs about the alleged irregularities in the electoral process, a senior member of the group told ‘The News’. In 2015 too, the PFA elections had turned controversial.