KARACHI: As many as 14 West Asian and South Asian countries on Thursday joined hands in Saudi Arabia to launch the South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF), an independent body which will work for the development of the game in the region.
According to sources, it will be working outside the zonal structure of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) and South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) will remain intact and will be working as usual.
A crucial meeting in this connection was held in Jeddah on Thursday with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) president Adel Ezzat in the chair. Pakistan was represented by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Faisal Saleh Hayat and secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi.
The other nations which attended the meeting were the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Iraq, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. Bhutan’s representative did not attend the meeting but sources said the nation will be part of the association.
It was agreed that the association will establish its secretariat in Jeddah. Another meeting of the association will be held in August to finalise important matters.A constitutional draft will be sent to the respective associations and after formal approval from the body it will be sent to the AFC.
The president of the association will be elected through democratic process. It means that the chief of the body may come from any member country.The sources said that the executive committee of the association will comprise six members, including one lady member each from the West and South Asian regions.
The sources added that the revenue which would be generated by the association through television marketing and other means would be spent on the development of football in the countries.