by Mohsin Ali
ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Football Association (IFA) President Chaudhry Saleem and Secretary Syed Sharafat Hussian Bukhari have urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza to provide justice to elected IFA body and stop Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) from interfering in association’s affairs.
Talking to The Nation, the IFA president and secretary said: “We were elected by IFA general council on July 30, 2015, where Irfan Khan Niazi, who is claiming himself secretary of the bogus association. But now after the PFF led by Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has been restored by Lahore High Court double bench, the federation has started interfering in all those associations, where it doesn’t enjoy backing.
“It is totally against FIFA constitution, as FIFA Article 70 doesn’t support parallel associations and could be declared persona non regatta. The PFF chief didn’t invite a single general council meeting in the last four years. The Supreme Court didn’t accept the federation’s elections held on June 30, 2015 while Justice Asad Munir, former PFF administrator, had conducted the audit of the federation for the last 5 years. We request government to conduct inquiry on the recommendations made by the auditor,” they added.
They said when they took over charge in 2015 after a successful no-confidence move against the then IFA president Dr Fazal-ur-Rehman, they put a new lease of life in almost dead association. “We conducted Islamabad Pothohar Football Tournament, in which 45 registered clubs participated and then we organised first Mayor Cup which was participated by 40 clubs. We provided uniform to all the participating teams and gave Rs 200,000 cash prize to the teams. We sent team to International Junior Tournament in Beijing, China in 2017 and then in Gothia Cup in China. THe IFA youngsters made country proud by winning gold medal.”
The IFA officials said the IFA team twice take part in Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games in 2016 and 2017 and won gold and bronze medals. “IFA ladies team won silver medal in 2016 games, while they also won silver in 2017. We sent team to Youth Games in 2016 in Gilgit and IFA team won silver medal. We took part in All-Pakistan Challenge Cup in Peshawar, where we beat the likes of Peshawar and PIA. We also managed a draw against PAF, our two players Farhan Khan got job in Navy and Samad Khan in PAF. Now both are playing in premier leagues.
“We are conducting tournaments on regular basis, while the leagues are also going on. The professional league will be launched in December this year, while according to PFF/IFA constitution, we are regularly holding general council meetings every year,” they added.
The IFA high ups said they had already managed a sponsorship for the professional league and other leagues, but when the federation somehow took side with parallel associations, the players’ cause hurt badly.
“The IFA established 15 youth academies in Islamabad, where highly-qualified coaches are imparting training to youth, rather than making fake teams in drawing rooms, which get bashing at the hands of even very low-ranked sides.
“We want the PFF to accept our mandate and let us work for the youth of the capital. If the federation has courage and backing of majority of clubs, they can bring no-confidence against the elected body. Around 1000 of players are suffering due to unjust interference of the federation,” he added.
“We request the PM, IPC Minister and Chief Justice of Pakistan to provide justice to youth of the capital and stop the PFF for interfering in IFA affairs. We are confident that current elected body is more than capable of delivering wonders for IFA in general and players of the Islamabad in particular,” they concluded.